Saturday, April 17, 2010

Confrontation

It is inevitable that every so often you'll run into that guy who loves to talk about his exploits. He's the guy with the left over high school locker room mentality in full rage and cannot get enough of letting everyone know that he has a pair. This guy loves to ignore common courtesy and say just about anything in front of just about anyone just about anywhere he feels like it. Confrontations with these guys are tough, but from time to time, they are utterly necessary.

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine was eating lunch with his lady and had the misfortune to be seated next to a table of these guys. Suffice it to say, the conversation was a distraction and all but ruined their meal. My friend really handled it with class. After giving them a while to get it out of their systems, he approached their table and asked them to cool it. He got the expected reaction but difussed the situation by telling that he and his date were only going to be there for a few more minutes and he'd appreciate it if they found something else to talk about in the meantime. End of story.

Confrontations with guys like that are tough for a few reasons, but mostly because they want the reaction. In my limited experience, the best way to handle it is just how my friend did. Don't give them the reaction they want; just tell them what they're doing and politely ask them to cool it. If they want to cause a scene, let it go. Even so, the whole thing can be embarrassing for your date. I'd recommend waiting until she goes to the ladies room, or if she doesn't, ask her to.

Discussion questions include: 1) Why is it important to take a stand in those situations? 2) What is your breaking point -at what point does is become necessary to say something? 3) What is actually worth fighting for, if it comes to that?

1 comment:

Douglas said...

We had a similar situation once in Auburn at a nice restaurant (we're talking Kobe beef, etc.) after a football game. The guys were shouting, and chanting, and making our dinner extremely unpleasant. I asked them to please keep it down and most of them acted the way you described. On the way out we got two middle fingers and one really apologetic friend from the group that made his best attempt to excuse the rest of them.

1)I think it's important to stand for decency. It's disrespectful to you, which is one thing, but in these two particular cases it's disrespectful to your lady friend to let these people continue disrupting. If nothing else, I think it's important to uphold some sense of common courtesy.

2)When you can't focus on conversation because you keep thinking about those dudes, it's time to say something.