Millennial Etiquette

Dear Mil,

Just when the uproar of Obama’s election was beginning to settle down, Judge Sotomayor’ s nomination has stirred things up again.  Why must change create so much strife?  Anyhoo.  I am in ministry with someone who continually makes questionable statements about sexual orientation, gender — you get the picture.

He recently said something funky about Prop 8.  No one took the bait.  Yea, team!

But wait!

Finally someone — who really should know better.  She has been warned.  — challenged him.

Well, once our co-laborer “got the accusations of racism he was waiting for, he then got to engage in every white conservative’s favorite pastime of wallowing in self-pity and calling his accusers humorless.”

I now see that his behavior is part of a long term pattern.   I feel like I’m stuck in a never ending performance art piece.  How can I gracefully exit the stage?

With exasperation,

Feeling Pavlovian

Dear Feeling Pavlovian:

Yglesias (see above quote) notes that:  [T]here’s this deranged fascination with walking up to the line and dancing around there in hopes of getting called on it. Then you get to become indignant.”

You and you ministry partner  have become trapped in an endless cycle.  Endless because no one involved is really interested in or open to changing their minds.  You must write an ending to this play so that you can  move on.   The key to this is to disrupt the cycle.  I.e., don’t respond in the expected way.  Here are some suggestions.

Say,  ‘there might be something in what you say.’  Stare meaningfully then move on without saying another word.

Laugh warmly then say, “oh you!”

My personal faves:

I wonder how that would sound in a deposition?

You’re sure about that?

I’ll say.

Live free or die,

Mil

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About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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