Do you contradict people's "facts" in public settings? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
To be clear, I don't "play dumb". I just choose the most effective method of getting my point about IF I care about the misinformation (and to be honest, most of the time, I do not. If someone is so weak that they can't decide for themselves and are going to be swayed by the loudest voice in the room, at least for that moment, then frankly they're going to be just as swayed at the next loud voice.). Most of the time, when my inclination is to debate without invitation, it's because I'm spoiling for a fight. And let's face it, someone spouting off ignorant, unsolicited advice is an EASY fight. Junk food.

I am unapologetic for both my alpha tendancies and my love of verbal fencing. That's who I am. However, because I have a strong personality, I feel a sense of...well, I don't know if "honor" is the best word for it but it's the closest thing I can come up with, anyway...I feel honor-bound to be compassionate to those around me, even though it's annoying as hell. I may be very bullheaded, but even I can tell that in general at most acquaintance mommy groups, people really don't want to turn them in to Fight Club. I have no reason to impose my love of a good argument on them because I have other alpha or debate fiend friends who love to wrestle with me and we can get down and dirty without fear. If I choose to go to this sort of event, where I know that debate is not socially appropriate, then I am CHOOSING to obey the social cues so that I can be a gracious guest. It's etiquette, not intelligence. Just because people feel uncomfortable with parenting conflict in a group that's just there to have a playdate or whatever doesn't mean that they're stupid.

IME people respond best when you approach them in a sensitive manner. For most people, that's not going to be arguing with some other person in order to win their soul. The target is going to think you're both asshats, and it's likely that s/he is right.

So why look at it as dumbing down? I see it as choosing the most effective way to get your point across, with minimal asshattery. Let the ignorant person wear that label, while you get to be the discreet and correct one. ;>
I didn't say dumbing down. I said shut up and listen to stupid crap.

I think that part of what is going on here is a difference in priorities. I don't feel comfortable in groups where consensus/lack of conflict is a priority. It's a result of a wide variety of influences in my life. Does that mean that other people are stupid because they want to be part of groups where consensus/lack of conflict is a priority? Of course not! It means that there are things that other people get from that kind of group interaction that I don't get, and that's ok.

I didn't say my last bit because I was trying to attack anyone. I said it because it was a neat realization for me and given that it seems to be true for a number of my female friends (I asked around this morning) it might be true for other people. I think it is important that women in general hear that it is ok to not be anti-conflict and that not all women believe that group consensus should always be the main focus. I think there is plenty of agreement in this thread that a great many women think that I/my behavior is rude. It's ok that people who are more on my side of the fence see that they aren't alone too. I'm not actually trying to convert anyone. Just furthering the conversation.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#32 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Tigerchild, my last post wasn't directed at anything you said. Some other posters specifically said that they "play the ditz" or act like they just "stumbled" upon information. I was just saying that there are ways to dispense information in a sensitive, social-mores-obeying manner without doing those things.

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#33 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
If it's something that I think people might believe, then I speak up. If I can tell that everyone else is thinking "really? You believe that?" then I don't bother.

And I might not phrase it as "you're wrong", but rather treat it like they were sharing a old wives' tale (even if they're obviously serious) "I know, isn't it freaky that they used to believe that?? My granny told me they were told to give babies ORANGE JUICE at 4 weeks? Man, some crazy crazy advice back in the day, no wonder dad gets ulcers. "

This thread makes me think of this
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#34 of 34 Old 04-16-2010, 07:25 PM
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For me, it definitely varies depending on the situation. Often, a smile or laugh goes a long way in taking the sting out of correction. With my MIL, for example, I usually say 'you're joking right? hahaha! I know you know better than that!' (when she wanted to take six-weeek-old DS in the car without his car seat ) or *smile* 'actually, it's more common these days to ___ now that we know more about ___' (when she found out that we didn't circ.)

When I was pregnant and working, my two managers were always mainstream and usually downright wrong regarding labor and birth. If I'd been the only one pregnant I would probably have let it go, but I wasn't, plus there were several other impressionable girls. So their 'when is your doctor going to induce you?' type questions would get an immediate 'why-that-is-NOT-GOING-TO-HAPPEN' lecture.

In a group like the OP described, I'd probably say something. For one thing, a mild, polite contradiction or disagreement is not going to ruin the afternoon or the playgroup. Anyone listening who is not knowledgeable about the topic will get the benefit of knowing that there's more than one opinion on the matter. For another, why does she get to be the expert? If it's always the same person, I'd want to deflate her ego just a bit-- maybe not by starting a withering, fact-filled debate but by at least piping up and saying "I don't think that's true!"

Mara, mama to two boys born 05/2009 and 04/2011, after four miscarriages. 

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