A close friend of mine has converted to Buddhism (a few months back), he's obviously very excited about the revelation he is having in his life (and it's a highly positive change). My feelings about religion aside (I have no plans to follow Buddhism, nor' any religion), it has dominated conversation more and more lately and I don't want to put my friend down for something that is clearly helping him, spiritually.

Prior to his conversion, we meditated quite often (and still do, but for different reasons now in comparison to before), which I think is the key as to why he feels comfortable talking about it with me more than normal (that and I'm also a supporting friend and I want this transition in his life to be as smooth as possible).

I've also learnt a bit about the religion in the process. But, we have plenty of other interests I miss talking about with him (such as programming, books we're reading etc...)

In the most respectful way possible: how can I tell my friend I don't want to talk religion every chance he gets?

  • 2
    Do you lead with other topics, and then your friend draws the conversation to Buddhism, or does your friend set the topic at the outset and then refuse to be diverted? Does he want to talk about Buddhism, or is he evangelizing to you?
    – Upper_Case
    Sep 15, 2017 at 18:43
  • we just talk about whatever comes up, it's not like it's the only thing we talk about all evening, but it'll be the "hot topic" of every meeting. He's not pushing it onto me or anything like that, I just haven't had the heart yet to tell him otherwise (because he's happy with what he's doing). Sep 15, 2017 at 18:47
  • Does he already know that you don't intend to convert to Buddhism and your general stance on religion? Sep 15, 2017 at 19:46
  • @AllTheKingsHorses he does yeah. He knows I don't mind talking about it in moderation because I know it's something he's happy with at the minute, I just think we should divide the conversation up more with the things we used to talk about alot. Sep 15, 2017 at 20:12

1 Answer 1


At first, you could ask him to talk about a certain topic of your choice you need help with, advice, more talking time in a confident tone, for that day. It could be something more personal you are struggling with or a project you are working on.

You could say something like,

[Friend's name], could I have your full attention about [topic of your choice]? I think I need your input on this.

or just start blabbing about [topic of your choice] just randomly even

However, if diverting his attention to the topics you used to talk about doesn't have a lasting effect, and if you are comfortable expressing your feelings, pick a good moment or even after he has just finished talking about Buddhism and say something like,

You know, I'm really happy for you...and you do seem really happy since you've converted to Buddhism, and I'm grateful I've learned so much about it from you and I did like meditating with you and still do but I really (really) miss us talking the way we used to about [programming-related topic] or [other topic you want to talk about]. I just feel that we don't spend enough time anymore and I just wanted you to know that.

I don't know much about Buddhism and I'm not religious, but from what I've heard it has to do with love and compassion and you could even use stuff you've learned about Buddhism (perhaps allegories, or stories) to approach this matter with your friend.

Talk about how peaceful you felt when spending time with him doing such and such thing. How happy you felt.

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