Did you know that ducks have a special preen gland near their tail, that when they rub that oil on their feathers with their beaks, it makes them waterproof? That oil gives their feathers protection from water damage and extreme weather conditions as well.
Ever been around someone who just won’t shut up? I mean, that yapper that just vomits his/her opinion all over you even if you’re not asking for it? They don’t care if you don’t feel the same way that they do and can care very little about your moral beliefs, background, or political views. They’re downright passionate about their own point-of-view, speaking until their veins are bulging out of their foreheads and necks, it’s like the only opinion that makes the most sense is theirs. They’re not generally nasty individuals, they’re just close minded. To clarify, they aren’t shouting at you or even arguing with you, rather they’re providing you a a rehearsed lecture on their belief system, whether you’ve asked for it or not. They are the complete opposite of a passive aggressive person. In fact, this is the only moment in your life, even if you are a “straight-shooter” like me, that you wished to GAWD for a passive aggressive or a “stonewaller.” These people have a specific channel or channels they watch on television. They have very specific political views, and you’ll know by the end of the conversation if they believe in God or not.
Here’s the trick with dealing with emotional, passionate people who pitch their viewpoint on Mount Everest and let you know all about it. You have to understand that even if you say, “well, let’s agree to disagree.” These yappers are going off so dang much, they haven’t heard a word you said. Their tangent has prevented them from stopping for air or consider that you’re not interested in continuing the conversation. You might even be sitting there completely befuddled, because you’re not even sure how the conversation even began in the first place? They are the ones that usually bring up subjects where they’ve rehearsed their rant of a monologue in thorough detail. They can be an elderly retired person pointing at something on the television as you are nearby, then they let you have it, going off on you. They can be a young, fresh out of college know-it-all. They can be mid-30s, seasoned professional. These people can be any age, any ethnicity, any gender preference. It doesn’t matter. They come from all walks of life and can be customers, associates, peers, friends, in-laws, family, acquaintances, or total strangers.
No matter their background, they can all be a P.I.T.A. and I am not talking about P.E.T.A. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). I am talking about P.I.T.A. (Pain In The A**). Here’s the thing you need to know about the overtly, in-your-face, opinionated- they are not very good listeners and definitely not the reasonable type. They will say things without taking body cues, even when you straight-up tell them, “I’d rather not discuss this anymore.” Why? Well you see, they are too busy venting on and on about their opinion, clueless if they are pissing you off. To them, their opinion is the accurate one. What do you do with someone like this? How the heck do you deal with an argumentative, combative, opinionated, extroverted, know-it-all?
- If you are not too pissed off by this point, you can try changing the subject.
- If you are in a situation that prevents you from leaving, you can try letting them know that you’d rather drop the entire subject.
- If they are not listening, which is likely the case, then you may need to resort to being a duck.
WARNING: What ever you do, do not try and ask questions, egg them on in any way, or further encourage a P.I.T.A. This only makes their behavior worse.
I have realized when dealing with a passionate P.I.T.A., option 1. and option 2. hardly ever work. If anything, they are in mid-sentence still going on and on. You aren’t talking to a level-headed person, but a know-it-all. They will likely not shut-up, not even if you ask them nicely. If this is the case with you, you’re at option 3. You have to be the duck, floating on top of the water calm as can be, but underneath the water your feet are moving fast. The P.I.T.A. does not need to see your feet moving, all they need to see is your little duck body floating along as calm as can be. Inside, you might be ready to choke them out, no need to give them another ounce of your energy. You take your beak, get some of that oil from your preen gland, and rub it all over your feathers. You let that oil make you waterproof, let those words roll right off your back. No reason to get nasty, no reason to even tell them about your opinion, no need to get sucked into their negative energy and their need to debate someone. Remember, the world does NOT revolve around you. This is NOT about you. Someone’s opinions, beliefs, ideas, perspective in life has a lot to do with many things outside of your control.
So, quack along little duck, you got an entire pond ahead of you and plenty of oil on those feathers to make you water resistant.