Dear Annie: I use this trick to keep politics, religion out of conversations with friends

Autor: Annie Lane

'Dear Annie' columnist Annie Lane

Annie Lane writes the Dear Annie advice

Dear Annie: I just read the letter about a friend who talks about politics too much, and the writer said it was causing them to question whether or not to end their friendship.

I had a similar situation some years back with a cousin. So I asked my aunt (not the cousin’s mom) how she would handle it. That’s when I learned her hard-and-fast rule about three very sensitive areas of discussion and how to handle that situation.

If someone I care about, family member or friend, starts talking about any of them, I simply wait until I can interject this: “I do not talk politics, sports or religion with people I care about, as it NEVER ends well. Everyone has their own opinions, beliefs and thoughts on those subjects, and I don’t want to get into a conversation that can potentially ruin our relationship/friendship. Is there something else you’d like to talk about, like maybe a movie or book?”

That is usually all it takes to end that part of the conversation. I will repeat it if they persist, and then I walk away. I will repeat it each time we talk if one or more of the “Big Three” is mentioned. Eventually, the person remembers to avoid them in conversation with me, or they remember to avoid me if they really must talk about them to someone.

I do talk about those three subjects, but I’m very careful with whom I have those discussions. I know my close friends and family well enough to know what subjects are safe with each.

My Aunt was very wise! — Avoiding Arguments

Dear Avoiding Arguments: I never heard the rule about not discussing sports, but certainly not talking about religion or politics during parties, dinners or other social gatherings is usually a good thing.

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