Lady Lessons: Deflect, Defuse, or Destroy

I really don’t like arguing (and just for the tally books, debating feels like arguing to me, so let’s not and say we did). I know it doesn’t sound right… INTJ… rational… but I still hate arguing.
I get overstimulated when I argue, and the phlegmatic in me simply can not abide being overstimulated… too many nerves, all jumping at once, and the only way to calm down again is to go burn things or chop down a tree by myself or commit a series of burglaries.

The problem with my disliking to argue is that I know I’m good at it.
I will find my point, stick the landing, and verbally dance until the other person concedes or is too exhausted to continue, and the satisfaction of watching someone’s sloppily crafted straw man crumble is overwhelming (no, literally overwhelming… OVERSTIMULATION).
Once I’ve started, I can’t stop… unless I’m facing a worthy opponent who can hold their own, or I’ve decided that I’m arguing with a fool, and as we all know, “when you argue with a fool, that makes two fools.”
Is that how the saying goes?
Or is it, “See a fool, bump his head”?
I can never remember.

Now that we all understand my tricky relationship with arguing, I will confess that I am in desperate need of a set of rules to extricate myself from debates and arguments, but in a polite manner. The older I get, the more I would just like to say, “I never argue with beggars and peasants” with an imperious toss of my head.
That would be rude, however, and we’ve already talked about rudeness.
So, in an effort to not offend all the random people who seem to like arguing with me (Hey, ya’ll… GO AWAY AND LEAVE ME ALONE), I’ve crafted the articles below, because a lady should know how to avoid arguments… or end them.

1) Crack all the jokes.
This is, by far, the easiest method to get out of a debate. If they can’t force you to be serious, they can’t seriously fight you, correct?
Make ’em laugh.
Make ’em laugh.
Don’t you know everyone wants to laugh?
The downside to this is that you run the risk of appearing to be an annoying imbecile, but hey, no one tries to argue with an imbecile.

2) Change the subject.
We have other things to talk about that won’t raise anyone’s blood pressure, right? I mean, we could be talking about Jurassic Park 4, and instead, you want to spar.
Silly rabbit.
There are Doctor Who theories to be discussed!
Benedict Cumberbatch photobombed U2, and that is IMPORTANT!
Can’t we discuss great works of literature?
Classic film?
Cake recipes and knitting?
Anything that won’t make me want to ground and pound you?

2) “I don’t have enough information to form an opinion on this matter.”
You are a mighty scholar, and scholars will not be strong-armed into matching wits unarmed.
If you don’t know the subject matter, then how can you argue your points?
That’s right, kids… you can’t.
Case closed.
Crisis averted.
Today, everyone lives.

3) “I;m afraid that I don’t care.”
If you say this properly, with a frothy (NOT foaming… if you are foaming, then I will assume that you have rabies, and I will put you down) smile and a careless air, this will both charm and disorient your opponent, giving you a small window of time to make your escape.
Unleash your inner Southern Belle.
Think Eula Varner or Scarlett O’Hara, but don’t try the accent unless you can sizzle it.
Throw in a “Fiddle-Dee-Dee” if you’re feeling over-caffeinated.

This one is a last resort.
Are you not feeling funny today? Are you obviously knowledgeable about the subject matter? Is this one of your pet issues and you clearly care SO MUCH that you had something tattooed on your person?
You are sunk, my love. You have no choice but to engage.
However, you can keep it short.
Brutally short.
Unleash your inner TV lawyer and proceed to shred the opposing theory (not the person).
Think Indiana Jones, bringing a gun to a sword fight.
Do that.
Well, don’t shoot anyone.
I really don’t want you to shoot anyone.
But end it.
If you’re going to win anyway, it’s really the most merciful method, isn’t it?
Keep it clean and quick, and bury the body of that argument in a regular cemetery, where it won’t rise again and come shambling back for more.


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