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Staying Calm in the Face of “Superior Minds”

The world has very little mercy for preparedness-minded souls and Christians. Everywhere you turn, there seems to be someone who looks down on your point of view and your lifestyle. These “superior minds” have evolved past “primitive” belief systems, and they know there’s no reason to worry about things in this “modern” era of technology and conveniences.

Running into these people used to leave me fuming for days. They were so smug in their mindset and so arrogant in the way that they talked down to me when speaking of my faith and my habits. However, once I realized that a big blow up from me was just what they wanted, I could see through the game and see how to get these “superior minds” out from under my skin.

1. Stay Calm

Smart, smug people love the attention and drama of upsetting you. They won’t admit it, of course, because they’ve evolved beyond such petty things, but one look at the enthusiasm behind their needling and you know all they want is the limelight.

Don’t give it to them!

Take a deep breath. Count to ten. Shovel food into your mouth so you can’t say a word. Suddenly “remember” you have to go to the bathroom. Notice that you have a new text on your phone. Do whatever you need to do to buy yourself the time to stay calm.

2. Don’t Argue

The next step is not to pick a fight or let any intended argument get off the ground. Even if you’re steaming mad, trying to argue with someone who just “knows” they’re right is like banging your head into a brick wall. Plus, the other person is eager for a frontal attack … so sidestep it, confuse them, and create the space for their mind to open up another time.

Some useful phrases to use at this point in the conversation are:

  • Well, that’s interesting.
  • I suppose that’s one way to look at it.
  • It’s amazing what you find in the news these days.
  • It’s always something, isn’t it?

The key here is that you’re not agreeing with the other person, but neither are you creating a place where they can keep arguing about it. You’ve responded and been polite, but the conversation is clearly on its way to being over.

By making a neutral observation, you let the other person’s steam run out naturally instead of giving them the chance to build their fire over you. Even better, neutral statements like this open up the conversation to move in a new direction.

3. Change the Subject

When someone is determined to push all your buttons to prove how right they are to you, change the subject. This makes it harder for the other person to keep coming back to the same topic, and you may be able to put them on a different track entirely until you can escape.

The liberal who wants to lecture you about the virtues of big government will look a little silly ranting on about politics when everyone else is taking about the high school football team. And it’s hard for an atheist to keep on listings all the reasons God is fake when the rest of the party is comparing gas mileage tips. Superior minds can’t stand looking ridiculous or out of the loop – they’re so proud of their “approved” views that they don’t dare look like the political crazy or religious nut job. Leave them out on their island and move the conversation elsewhere, so that they either have to drop it and play nice or risk looking like a rude windbag with a major agenda.

4. Be Busy

Finally, help keep these “superior minds” out of your life by being busy – too busy to have them over, meet them for coffee, or stand around and chat. This one is a pretty honest excuse, because you can always think of something preferable to listening to someone treat you like an ignorant peasant. I once filed my taxes instead of listening to an uncle go on and on about the benefits of banks monitoring your personal accounts for suspicious activity, and I have bowed out of parties early to go home and take care of “some important things I have to do today” that included folding my laundry and sweeping.

With the holidays upon us, it’s likely you’ll be spending some time with those superior minds in your life. Just remember that some people just can’t wait to tell you how you’re wrong, but you don’t have to give them time out of your day to do it. Keep calm, don’t encourage an argument, and change the subject where you can. Where you can’t, find something or someone else to fill your time – you’ll be a lot happier!

©2012 Off the Grid News

© 2008-2014 Off The Grid News

3 comments

  1. Thank you, this is very helpful. I’ve run into people like this on various web-sites and in real life and found them confrontational to say the least. In one case a man in a coffee shop interrupting a conversation between myself and another person to point out how wrong we were. It’s amazing how arrogant some people can be. My friend dealt with the fellow by telling him to mind his own business,no more interruptions.Maybe not the best way to handle but the fellow shut up…

  2. I don’t doubt that you have had such problems, but are you unaware that Christians can be quite arrogant too? This is a HUMAN problem (in my opinion) caused by judgmental arrogance. Neither Christian nor non-Christians have a monopoly on such behavior.

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