Do it. Go and scream. Sometimes we need to decompress. It is OK.
Excellent job summing up how I feel a lot of the time.
At the risk of giving advice: Are smash/scream rooms thing where you are? That may prove to be an outlet.
We got word from our doc that we are in the “Kid 4 Arrival Zone”. Our local hospitals are not in great shape right now, but aside from that we feel like we’ve got the hang of this whole family expansion process by now.
Also, I actually got a couple games to the table this week, and have plans to do some painting tomorrow. Summer is good.
Semi regular reminder that we can publish things in this thread anonymously if wanted.
Second interview invite, and a bit of calendar snooping indicates I’m the only one on that day (possibly ever)
Got called a “blood-sucking parasite” today by a random guy at a party, after I told him I was a software dev (he asked what my job was). And it wasn’t a slip of the tongue. He doubled, nay tripled down after that. A very unpleasant half hour followed. Someone please teach me how to extricate myself from such conversation without being impolite.
Would be great to know his job beforehand so I can say how much his job and his life sucks
“That’s certainly an opinion” + turn to talk to someone less rude
(Clearly he’s had some bad run-ins with Windows updates or something…)
First thing that comes to mind is “Up yours, Neanderthal”. But that’s getting down to his level. He probably does not deserve it.
Why be polite?
It makes me genuinely sad that you spent half an hour being civil to this boorish individual.
My reflex suggestion on how to extricate yourself next time involves the patella (well it would, really) and is not constructive or recommended.
Being impolite isn’t easy if you have been socialised in certain ways. Worth practising, though;- )
Without being impolite? Punch him in the testicles, knee him in the face when he doubles over and then kick him in the stomach or back (depending on position) when he’s writhing on the ground in pain.
What? No a single uncivil word was uttered.
Seriously, though, some people deserve politeness, some do not. Simply saying “I don’t have to take this” and turning away to talk to someone more pleasant and with better conversation (which, at this point, would include any houseplant present) is the better option I would say.
Serious answer though, if you find conflict stressful and/or have to worry about possible violence and/or upsetting third parties, I would lead with “why do you think that’s an acceptable thing to say to a stranger at a party?” (because I would actually like to hear the answer), followed most likely by an “oh” or “uhuh” and just blanking them.
As a white man, please take my advice as heavily, heavily influenced by my position of utter privilege, but:
- “What on Earth makes you think that’s an appropriate thing to say to somebody about their work?”
- “It’s true! When I was little I dreamed about crushing hopes and dreams, but since all the evil dictators I know are white men, I thought I’d go for the next best thing.”
- “Huh. You’re the fifteenth person to say that to me today, but the rest of them were way better looking than you so I didn’t mind as much.”
- “Parasite? Oh, you mean like my aunt and her intestinal friend? She has had that tapeworm for over five years. I had no idea they could live that long! How much do you know about cestoda, because I did a lot of research about them.”
- “You know, John Scalzi says that the failure-state of ‘clever’ is asshole, but I love how you really just leaned into it.”
Thanks everyone It really helps to read your ideas!
I think the reason I didn’t walk away right at the start was that this person reminded me of my old boss who bullied me and I must have felt a subconscious need to prove to myself that I could stand up to such a person and not let them get away with their BS.
Plus: I tend to take what people say at face value too much and overlook that they’re just being “krawallig” (conflict seeking). When his arguments became more and more absurd (the discussion had gone into political issues at this point for no obvious reason), I finally realized and asked if he just wanted to provoke me and he said “yes.” “I don’t like that!” I said and finally turned around and went away.
Note: This was in no way a situation though where I was afraid that physical violence was going to occur. Except for that comment at the start there wasn’t even what I consider non-physical violence just some very unempathic, provocative debate because he felt like it.
 I may have provoked him with a few comments on women in tech and he must have realized that was a topic who could use to needle me further.
Sounds like you handled it well if not as fast as you would have liked.
I find I constantly try to please people as a default and then realise too late that I don’t care about there opinion of me.
I’ve been the cleverest guy in the room, and I got better; I think this makes me less tolerant of other people who are and haven’t.
If you want some practical suggestions:
Zero confrontation: Pull out your phone, put your hand on the side of their shoulder to interrupt, say “I just remembered something, excuse me” and walk into another room.
Mild confrontation. “I’m sorry, I’m going to go find my friend.” Smile and leave.
Generally speaking, I’d say anything more obvious or confrontational than that isn’t worth it. You’ll be thinking about it all night or all week and there’s no reason to invest yourself that much.
(edit: But I put all my votes behind @Benkyo’s response for the best, direct wording.)
The other thing about extricating is to speak and act. If you give them a chance to respond you may launch a new branch of conversation and have to do it all again.
My husband and I have made an offer on a house and had it accepted.
This is incredibly stressful. It’s probably the worst possible time to be buying a house, we feel like we’ll never have any money ever again, and we are going on a two-week long-planned family vacation in basically 4 weeks so either everything happens VERY FAST and we close by the time we leave or it gets delayed until we get back which could cost us extra money.
I’m anxious, nervous, and also incredibly excited. The new house is almost twice the size of where we currently live. It’s got a little creek or stream right behind it. It’s a little outdated in some places and the kitchen is smaller than ideal, but in so many ways, it’s really amazing and perfect for us. It’s also literally around the corner from where we live now. We walked over when we went to look at it with our realtor.
Congrats on the buying. Think how lucky you are, to be able to move from so close, to get a mortgage in these troubled times. It is stressful (I just bought mine in September last year) but I am sure is worth it. All the best of lucks with all the paperwork side of things, moving, etc…