No. Not really.

Good afternoon, dear Reader! The sun is shining here in the Ozarks. Bird nests are littering my trees and squirrels are facing the wrath of my stealthy hunter, Ocelot the Cat. One, sadly, did not make it through the weekend. Run faster, little squirrels. Fat Ozzie is in da house.

I’ve been feeling a bit restless this week, folks. I wish I could blame it on the Moon…don’t we blame her for everything? But, alas, I cannot in good conscience blame the moon. The full moon was a week ago and the new moon isn’t close enough to create drama. But…hang on…YEP! Mercury goes retrograde in a few short weeks. Let’s just blame that, shall we?

The truth is all this angst is just me and the changes life has presented me with over the last few weeks. I’ve mentioned I’m moving. I’ve mentioned I’m wrapping up a good year of volunteer work. I’ve mentioned I’m decluttering like a mofo right now. What else has got me thinkin’?

Well, grab a drink. Settle in.

Today’s topic: How to win an argument.

It’s not really rocket science, so I don’t want you getting too terribly excited over my revelations. Here’s the bottom line:

Don’t accept 90% of the invitations you receive to bicker or argue with anyone.

Mentally, just hold up that hand and think to yourself “Not today, Satan. You don’t get to fuck with my mojo.” I like to think I’m getting much better at not arguing than in previous years. I, literally, ask myself this question about 200 times a day: “Is this a discussion I want to have right now?” Most of the time – because I’m not a huge fan of conflict anyway – the answer is ‘No. Not really’.

Here are some ways that came up this week:

  1. “We are all a bit autistic, aren’t we?” No. Not really. In fact, that’s probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Autism is a neurological disorder. You are autistic or you are not.
  2. “I just ordered 40 additional widgets without any approval, okay?” No. Not really. Someone has to pay for those and since you ordered them then I guess that person is you, right? That will be $600.
  3. “Don’t you think women and black people and those with disabilities are just looking for excuses to blame other people?” No. Not really. And I have nothing else to say because honestly, I still don’t have enough information to argue my point on this narrative.
  4. “People on food stamps are just lazy.” No. Not really. In fact, when I had to apply for government assistance so my kid could eat, I was working three jobs.
  5. “You are going to help me (fill in the blank with anything this person is absolutely capable of doing on their own), right?” No. Not really. But I will get you the phone numbers and you can take care of that yourself.

These days, I don’t even bother with ‘No. Not really.’ I just answer with “Hmmm” or “Huh”. When quizzed further, I might add “You make an interesting point” or “I’ve never really thought about it.” Why? Because. When someone can get you all riled up about something, then they have all the power. I learned this lesson the hard way during an argument about fucking hot dogs. If people can’t control their anger over something as simple as a weiner, then do you really want to have additional conversations with this person? I mean, it’s probably not going to get much better than that, right?

“But, Dear Writer,” you say. “My opinion is important and I need to verbalize it 24/7. Right?”

I mean, yes, of course, your opinion is important. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Do you need to verbalize it 24/7? No. Not really.

Here’s my advice to you when confronted with a dilemma to argue or walk away, dear Reader:

  1. Don’t accept every invitation. It’s not worth it. Some people love drama. Don’t be one of them.
  2. Keep scrolling. Your opinion is important to you but honestly, most other folks do not care. Swipe left, scroll up, delete, unfriend, whatever you need to do in order to stay at peace.
  3. Get comfortable agreeing that 2+2=5 for your own sanity. You can’t out-argue stupid, so don’t try.
  4. Say less. Not everyone needs an explanation. “Hmmm” can get you far in life – or at the very least, get you out of a conversation you do not want to have.
  5. Mind your own business. Who knows why people do what they do. If you are truly curious, then ask more questions. If you just want to argue a point about why your way is better than their way, then shush your word hole.
  6. Don’t blame a clown for acting like a clown. Ask yourself why you keep going to the circus. And stop attending the ringside event of defending your opinions to those who can’t think beyond their own red rubber nose.
  7. Invoke the 5/5 rule. Will this matter in five years? No? Okay. Then don’t waste another five minutes on it.
  8. Repeat after me: Not my circus, not my monkeys. Enough said.
  9. Have some grace. People come up with all kinds of crazy conclusions about things based on their life-experience. This includes you. This includes me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion – educated or not
  10. Embrace your inner gangsta. I’ve never met a real-life gangster, but I like to imagine that they really don’t give a shit about much. Turning 50 last year kinda turned me into a gangsta, of sorts. It was like “click”. My fuck-it switch transformed its ‘automatic setting’ from “We should talk about this” to “I have zero fucks left to give”. And that is amazing.

So, that’s it today. I feel a little less angsty now that I’ve realized I can find a silver lining in the midst of pre-Mercury retrograde weirdness vibes. Hope this helps.

Oh, and….here’s your song. That one is gonna stick in your brain. You’re welcome.

PS…if you loved this post and want to share it with others on all things social, then have at it. Please and thank you!