Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Deflecting the Questions of Sticker Sporting Friends on Voting Day

Today is Election Day for those of us in the United States.  

Naturally, everyone is displaying stickers on their breast that say, "I Voted!", trying to find out which candidates or issues everyone around them voted for, and feeling quite proud of themselves for doing their civic duty...

Two people sitting at a bus stop sporting " I Voted" stickers.  "It's always good to see people who care enough to vote."  "Thanks!"  "Out of curiosity, who'd you choose?"
We've all seen this  common, pride-boosting behavior.

...while trying to guilt everyone around them into doing the same.

Whether you chose not to vote or whether you just didn't feel like wearing a sticker doesn't seem to matter to many of these people.  They'll try to give you the civic duty lecture, regardless.

The only way to avoid these people, really, is to grab a sticker of your own from the polling place, wearing it as a shield, or swiping one from someone who was silly enough to keep it in an area that isn't very well guarded.  Like a purse or a coat.

There's no escaping it... unless, of course, you hide in your home and draw the blinds.

But that's no fun.

So how do you get away from all of that election day excitement if you don't fall into the sticker sporting category?

Create your own question/answer game.  Here are a few ideas.

Draw attention to something else by asking another question that's related to their question, yet has nothing to do with politics.  

Bonus points if you can come up with a question that has a very simple yes/no answer, yet still causes most people to stop and think long and hard.

Sticker Sporting Friend: 
"Where's your sticker?"

"Do you think the red on those stickers is made using Red Dye #40?"  

In case you're wondering, no.  Red Dye #40 is absolutely not used on those stickers.  It's used as an additive in food and medicine.

However, if you're as active at trying to go green as I am, the question will stop just about anyone in their tracks.  Why?  Because they'll assume the question is valid, regardless of what they've learned.

Manipulative?  Yes.  But it's also rather fun...

Deflect the question with something that happened in history that occurred on the same day.  

Bonus if your own question has some sort of vague ties to politics, yet has nothing to do with the current election.

Sticker Sporting Friend:
"So.... Who'd you vote for?"

"That brings up an interesting question.  Today in 1854, John Philip Sousa was born... I wonder how he would have voted?  And... Abraham Lincoln was elected president today in 1860.  How cool is that?"

Generally, using this method will bring on a completely different conversation than what your sticker sporting friend had originally planned.  Even if it doesn't, it'll make it much easier for you to switch topics.

Answering a question with a question is always the best way to deflect a conversation that you don't want to partake in.

Normally, I'd probably have a lot of fun jumping right into the thick of it - minus the annoying sticker. I find them rather wasteful.  Think about how many people are wearing those things today.

Now consider how many people were able to grab more than one.

Now, mentally throw them all into trash bags after their one day of use expires.

That's a lot of trash. 

This year, there were just too many issues ignored... like the environment.  I have no real drive to jump into the "whose candidate will win?" drama.

Instead, I'll be deflecting those questions while doing what I can to get my garden ready for the winter.

Are you as sick of the political drama this year as I am?  What do you do to deflect the questions of your overly political friends on Election Day?

Comment with your own methods... it just many help someone somewhere to deal with their sticker sporting friends!

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