8

My close friend is a very dominant (DISC) person. Last time, he bashed my ex-high school when we hang out with some friends. He had valid points, and I had admitted it, but nevertheless, I asked him to stop because I take pride in my high school's experience.

He refused to stop, saying that he's just saying the facts. Note that this argument began because one of my friends is still enrolled there. All of my friends respect this guy, so they didn't do anything. When he continued to "state the facts" again, I walked out.

This might happen again, as we regularly hang out with this circle of friends regularly. I would like to stop him from bad-mouthing my high-school, when I'm with him.

How to convince my friends to drop this particular topic when I'm around? He is a respected figure, so I fear that they will just dismiss my request when I ask them.

Note: DISC is a type of personality test and stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness. A Dominant DISC personality is defined as: Sees the big picture - Can be blunt - Accepts challenges - Gets straight to the point

  • Are you hurted by the fact that he is right ? – Meow Nov 23 '17 at 10:34
  • @Catheart hurt by the facts? Now, not really. Schools have their own advantages and disadvantages. I'm proud of my school whatever flaws they might have. – Vylix Nov 24 '17 at 1:56
  • @Vylix Okay, I just wanted to know if you were angry or not cause the answer you are looking for depend of how you are feeling. – Meow Nov 24 '17 at 9:12
  • 1
    In the title you wrote that the topic makes the group uncomfortable, while the body reads as if you where the only one feeling hurt. Could you please clarify this? – Arsak Dec 12 '18 at 20:03
  • @Marzipanherz one or two in this group are also either ex or still studying in that high school. The whole group is uncomfortable, as proved by their awkward, forced laugh you make when someone makes a point you disagree, but want to please that person, so you laugh nonetheless. This friend is respected, so I know why they were laughing despite they being uncomfortable. I hope that makes sense. – Vylix Dec 13 '18 at 3:36
11

You need to state clearly that you don't want to have your school discussed in negative terms.

I'm sorry Dave, I enjoyed my time at (school) and I really don't care to hear it bashed.

If he continues...

I'm sorry Dave, but I've told you that I don't want to discuss this.

if he STILL continues.

I'm sorry Dave, but I'm not going to stay here and listen to you continue when I've asked you twice already to stop.

Then leave.

It's assertive without being aggressive and makes the point without making you look petty.

  • While I agree with the approach you're listing, I would add the footnote that this is only valid if he is the one raising the topic of the school in the first place. If someone else raises the issue, he should be free to express his opinion (within reason, e.g. as long as he doesn't get up on his soapbox). – Flater Nov 23 '17 at 14:53
4

In the short term, there is probably nothing you can do besides walking away. There are people who enjoy "proving" that something others enjoy and are proud of is, "in fact" not that great. Note the reply "I'm just stating the facts" as though that somehow means there is no reason to stop that line of talk.

In the longer term, you and your other friends may learn how to avoid triggering such a speech, you may decide to see less of this friend, or this friend may learn from the walking away that a different conversational approach would be more fun. It's hard to predict for sure. It's really up to your friend to decide whether saying things that deliberately upset you is enough fun to keep on doing it even though friendship is not typically built on such behaviours. It's unlikely you'll be able to make that decision for him.

With a different friend I would encourage you to explain how it's upsetting you. However it's clear this friend knows it's upsetting you and doesn't see that as a reason not to talk that way. So get yourself out of the upset and don't put more energy into telling him how he's making you feel: it's either the whole point (ha ha you're so upset) or it's not relevant (I have these facts which must be stated.) Some people are like that.

  • people who enjoy "proving" - in this case OP's friend would not be opposed to OP providing an argument for the opposite case, or more importantly stating some obvious reasons why just because something is true doesn't mean its okay to say, especially when another person has asked them to stop. – Jesse Nov 23 '17 at 2:06
  • Not opposed? The friend would doubtless be delighted to have a debate and another chance to loudly state rude opinions. The people I have known who continue to criticize a thing after you say that you like it and don't want them to ... they don't change their minds when you give them some of your information. And the same goes for explaining why some things aren't ok to say. – Kate Gregory Nov 23 '17 at 2:22
3

Don't take the bait

People who dwell on topics like this, where there is no advantage to be had except to feel they're better, have picked a topic they feel confident they can come out on top and is trying to bait others into a discussion about it.

Joke instead

Try something like:

You seem pretty interested in schools all of a sudden, you aren't pregnant are you?

Continue to bring up his pregnancy if he carries on talking about schools "Don't worry Dave, you'll have a few years until you have to think about which school to send them to"

Schools over for the rest of us...are they sending you back?

This might depend on their insecurity, are the rest of you doing well academically and they aren't? This might hit a nerve if thats their insecurity. Otherwise its open to joke about.

Dave, no one likes a show off.

This depends on how well you know them and can pull off saying it in a jokey manner.

Continue to poke fun when they try to make it serious, they'll probably back off the subject as it isn't giving them whatever it was they hoped to gain.

2

Some options with #1 being my personal preference.

1) Ask him

Why does it matter?

If he has a good explanation than you should reconsider your position on not wanting to hear this talk.
If, as I believe more likely, he has answer is week. Point out that that since you guys aren't going to change anything by talking about it, his complaining accomplishes nothing except to annoy you.

Of course this might be his true purpose in bringing it up. In which case pointing it out will hopefully gain you support from other friends who will then bring the needed preasure to bear to make him stop.

2) Have a list of good traits about the school and mention that you think this out weighs the bad.

3) walking out, which you have already mastered.

Good luck!

2

It sounds like you're trying to address this in the group, i.e. in front of your other friends. If he has a dominant personality, he might take that as a challenge and dig in further for the onlookers.

Instead, take him aside privately, tell him that you find these discussions uncomfortable, and ask him politely to stop. You can do this with more or less "supplication" depending on how much you think he needs it, what you're willing to do, and how strongly you feel; the goals are to (1) get the behavior to stop and (2) avoid hostilities. I've had success doing this with people who insisted on pushing certain of my buttons (US culture).

1

Saints preserve us from guys who enjoy "just telling it like it is". There's very often an ulterior motive attached, likely showing dominance or enjoying making others feel bad.

I'll paraphrase Anderson above and suggest that you ask him, "Is there any reason to keep bringing this up, beyond annoying me and hurting [x]'s feelings?" Recommend you tell him that there will not be any agreement on this issue, so for the sake of peace between friends he should drop it.

Further, it may be necessary to buttress your position on this several times; guys like your friend rarely give up pushing people's buttons willingly. Recommend negative reinforcement if he keeps bringing it up. "Get over high school already. Now you're just being deliberately rude."

Do note that these recommendations are a little more (ahem) brusque than I'd usually give, but you have to make it really, publicly clear that he is being rude to the rest of you on purpose.

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