How to Have a Successful Discussion Time
I have been asked to share How to Have a Successful Discussion Time more times than I can count. On both hands! So finally, here it is: How to Have a Successful Discussion Time.
First I think we should define the terms.
DISCUSSION: Most everyone has had several of these. They first happen in junior high infrequently. Then they become increasingly more commonplace, never reaching their peak until extreme old age, when the ability to speak and be understood leaves. They are usually a group of more than four people all talking about "issues." What they are actually doing is debating which flavor of toothpaste is better. But if you ask them "What are you talking about?" they would say "We're not talking. We're DISCUSSING. And we're discussing religion." If you are unfamiliar with discussions, you would probably say something like "So, do you believe in God?" If you asked this, they would stare at you, then exchange conspiratorial glances, then resume talking about Aquafresh Whitening. You should say "What's a good bowling alley?" They will instantly accept you.
SUCCESSFUL: Used to describe a discussion which is over extremely quickly. Ideally, a discussion should never take place. But it is still considered successful if nothing is covered in only five minutes. Many discussions take at least an hour to cover nothing.
FACILITATOR: Discussions will often have facilitators. These are people in charge of the discussion.
There are certain steps people can take to have a Successful Discussion Time:
1. Don't say anything unless asked. Saying anything only prolongs the discussion, as people will first crack jokes about what you said, then debate what you said for a long time, and upon resolving the issue debate whether their conclusion would still be the same if the Holocaust had not happened.
2. If you have a facilitator, smile and nod whenever he or she is speaking. This also helps the discussion flow smoothly. Above all, do not laugh at jokes that people crack about what the facilitator says, no matter how funny. This encourages the jokers, prolonging the discussion tenfold.
3. When asked to give your opinion, don't. Don't even say you agree with someone else. Say "I don't care one way or the other." Or, ideally, say something that resolves whatever "issue" is being discussed. If people are debating whether Colgate or Crest is better, say "People like both brands, and both brands get people's teeth clean. Next topic." Say it authoritatively, and then you will have shortened the discussion.
4. Above all DO NOT TALK. The one exception is when someone finishes saying something very controversial. If someone says, "I think that God exists, but only in clouds," immediately following this statement there is sure to be a flurry of loud noise. It is permissible to add to this noise. Yell something like "YAH YAH YAH YAH YAH YAH YAH!!" Try to let your yelling blend in with the noise.
5. At random points throughout the discussion, pick your nose and flick the boogers at other people. This will make people want to leave. Try especially to hit the people who are talking, so they want to leave and shut up. Except do not hit the facilitator, because he determines when the discussion is over. If you hit him, he may prolong the discussion.
You are now armed with the knowledge necessary to have a Successful Discussion Time. Use it with caution and good aim.
© 1998-2021 Zach Bardon
Last modified 7.19.2019