I have a family member who’s very opinionated. Opinionated to the extent of not making space for other people’s thoughts and very often concluding rather forcefully that if you don’t agree with what he’s saying, you are wrong.
Agreeing to disagree is an esoteric concept to him.
So what happens in the aftermath of him forcing his views at other people? Well, his family tries to compensate. They have gotten to a point where they know this person can’t be reasoned with and so they try to be extra nice to those that he has put off.
How do you manage around family such as this?
The easiest is to ignore. I mean you meet them for very little time, it’s easier to forget and move on.
But what if this family member is your Dad or your Mom?
You understand that these conversations suck the energy out of you and you would rather not engage. Or maybe you talk only as little as what’s transactionally required.
And all of this is after you’ve made efforts to get them to listen. To tell them that they don’t listen, that they only counter and attack; all to no effect.
Quite simply then, here’s the solution:
You honestly have very limited fucks to give in life. This isn’t one of them. You don’t have to feel happy and comfortable at all times. You are probably thinking this is about indifference. It’s not.
To not give a fuck about them, you need to be able to care for something larger.
1. I give a fuck about good conversations; I want to listen and be heard and I want it to be a meaningful discussion that doesn’t end with someone saying “you may say what you want, but I am right”. OR
2. I give a fuck about maintaining my peace of mind so I am not going to engage in this.
You get the drift.
Having a reaction to this person may seem inevitable to you. Today. In a few years, or maybe in a couple of decades, you may think “Wow! Why did I even worry about that!”
That is so liberating!
Focus today on what matters to you and religiously stick to it. Easier said than done, but it’s an art. It takes time.
Along the way, what you choose to give a fuck about will also evolve. Let it. That’s called maturity.