How to approach
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14-03-2013, 10:47 PM
How to approach
Hey guys I've been on this forum as an observer for quite a while and have been an atheist for a few years. I come from a mormon family, of which I am the only one that has become a freethinker. I have a family member (aunt) who is very outspoken and I believe is trying to elicit a response from me so ignore her. However whenever I post anything online she is guaranteed to make a comment. I have a large arsenal to that I could throw at her in a debate but I just continue to ignore her. I don't want to cause waves but it is drawing on my last reserves of patience and I believe it is culminating to a breaking point. How should I approach this, thanks for the help in advance.
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14-03-2013, 11:25 PM
RE: How to approach
Not for me to make a call for you as I don't know your age, location, financial situation etc. so I won't try and anyway I suspect the choices are already known to you.

The key questions are:

What outcome do you want?

How much do you value the relationships that will be effected by a confrontation?


Some have gone through this and found allies they did not expect. Some have been ostracised.

Once you have decided what outcome you want (not just for yourself) you can then determine the best tactics.

The in-ya-face tactics will have the most repercussions. Even just being right and politely proving her wrong can be perceived as arrogant.

The pacifying approach involving inquiring and active listening usually has the least damaging outcome.

I wish you luck.

(If there is a punch up, don't forget to film it and post here later. Thanks)

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16-03-2013, 02:58 AM
RE: How to approach
Personally I'd just get the debate over with. I lost a good majority of my theist friends and family when I told them they were being deluded by bronze age mythology, which really didn't bother me too much, but I'm not a very family oriented social being.

Only you can decide what's the right path for you, that's the best part about being an atheist
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16-03-2013, 03:23 AM
RE: How to approach
I would send a short email to her that you are who you are and that you don't want to debate her. Don't talk about "bronze age" or "why you left", but that you want her to be happy and that you hope she withholds judgment on your decision to leave the church.

If that doesn't work, I would 100% ignore everything about her until she "gets it"...when she does, she will contact you personally to ask "why are you ignoring me"...you can reply that her judgment isn't welcome.

This happened with me and my Dad over politics and it worked. The first time I told him to stop debating me all the time. He didn't stop. So I ignored him for about 3 months. He apologized and slowed down drastically on his efforts to entice me in debate. It didn't stop, but it has really gotten better.

Good luck regardless!
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