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When Dispassionate about the non-meta, Admit It & Disengage

Started by droqen, December 19, 2021, 07:49:48 PM

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I was having a conversation with my sister about J.K. Rowling's recent transphobic poem and ended up talking with her for an hour about this while out on a walk. And... well, I realized afterwards that I was having a conversation that felt frustrating because I thought I had to take a stance one way or another. So I wasn't really saying anything except dancing around the fact that I didn't have any passion to engage with the topic, pushing responsibility onto her to say something that would inspire me to get more engaged.

The solution, I think, is for me to recognize and acknowledge when I'm not passionate about a topic and to say so. It doesn't even have to come quickly--there's no rush to get there in the course of a conversation, but I need the practice with feeling and saying:

"This isn't something I have enough passion about... for me to engage with it meaningfully."


She was very patient and reasonable with me through my hemming and hawing.

I would like to remind myself that when I do this I'm not intentionally playing Devil's Advocate (as someone once put it, "the devil doesn't need more advocates") or taking a contraposition for the sake of argument or discussion or exploration... I just don't have a good habit of knowing what to do with myself when I don't have an opinion but feel like I should have one. In these cases I just default to planting myself somewhere that will tease more details out of my conversational partner, maybe as a strategy for pushing myself to figure out where I do stand.

But I don't need to work towards having an opinion about everything. Maybe I can just plainly state when I do not have an opinion, and that I'm not interested in developing one right now, and when that means the topic at hand is not one I can presently engage with as a result.