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11:56 pm: Don't Change the Game
A good idea: http://siderea.livejournal.com/1324762.html

Does your experience agree with siderea that
In an important sense, this is just politeness: don't selfishly hijack conversations that were going fine without you to be about what you'd prefer to discuss instead. On the other hand, I doubt anybody has ever in your entire lives suggested that changing a conversational topic is ever impolite, except, you know, this whole "derailing" concept from social justice activism on the internet. And most people are actually pretty terrible at discerning just what the topic is in a discussion, it not being a skill it ever crossed normal people's minds to desire to acquire.
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This entry was originally posted at http://boxofdelights.dreamwidth.org/298778.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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From:maribou
Date:November 27th, 2016 10:15 am (UTC)
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Hm.

No, actually, I've often observed people being told that switching a conversational topic was impolite or worse.

"Don't change the subject!" is a common imprecation in my experience, with infinitude of motives ranging from engagement to frustration to affection teasing to outright abuse and all over the map besides.

Also I have seen people frankly and politely informed that they were hijacking a conversation in all sorts of ways.

So no, that doesn't at all coincide with my experience.
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From:maribou
Date:November 27th, 2016 10:18 am (UTC)
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PS it is *less* common in my experience to see people with more power being told by people of less power not to change the subject in real life - let alone told that they are being impolite by doing so - because OF the power dynamic. rare is the workplace where the employees feel comfortable telling the boss such a thing, the home where children feel comfortable telling parents such a thing, etc. rare and usually valuable.

but i see that as a flaw of in-person - that threat is amplified - rather than a flaw of online...
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From:maribou
Date:November 27th, 2016 10:21 am (UTC)
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PPS I tried rereading her original post a couple times but I can't tell what irony level (if any) the quoted paragraph has in the original post... so that didn't really illuminate anything for me. Apologies if I've badly misread by taking her literally.


Alsotoo it's a very good advice, the post as a whole I mean, and well put. Just confused by this bit.
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From:boxofdelights
Date:November 27th, 2016 07:15 pm (UTC)
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No, I think you're right, that she meant it literally, and that puzzled me too. So I'm wondering, is that true and I just never noticed? Is it true in some communities and false in others?
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From:lcohen
Date:November 28th, 2016 05:12 pm (UTC)
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will have to read the entire post some other time, but i recall very clearly sitting and talking with you about what we would do that evening and a young man coming up and hijacking our conversation to continue an argument you and he had been having during a previous panel and me having to tell him that he had completely intruded and hijacked our conversation, so, you know, sometimes you do need to tell someone to give the conversation back.
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From:boxofdelights
Date:December 1st, 2016 08:08 am (UTC)
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I remember that young man being astonished to be told no, you can't interrupt our conversation to have yours.

People aren't born understanding the difference between "this is important to me" and "this is important", but you'd hope they would learn to recognize it sometime before adulthood.
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