HowTo:Not have a useful discussion

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One way not to have a useful discussion.

So you want to be able to claim you talked to someone, but you didn't want to get caught accidentally agreeing with them? Or you just want to talk at someone, but don't want to listen to what they really have to say? This article is for you! Here are some useful tips on how not to have a useful discourse (or discussion).

Insult them subtly, or not so subtly[edit]

Mix an insulting word, such as "idiot", with a word that is either a compliment or another insult, such as "useful." The use of the word "idiot" when preceded by the word "useful" could either mean someone who lacks intelligence who is performing useful work, or someone who lacks intelligence who is easily manipulated by another.

"Control freak" is another example: Control, especially of one's own situation, is something every responsible person wants to have; whereas freak implies that the person has OCD or Nazi syndrome, or is otherwise obsessed or psycho. Speaking of manipulation, that brings us to the next point.

Imply that they are manipulative[edit]

Nobody likes to be manipulated, so in implying they are manipulative, you are also implying that they are unlikable. Further, you are implying that their words and actions are untrustworthy, with ulterior motives.

Put down their hard work[edit]

Avoid giving them any credit for the hard work they have done, especially if it might be beneficial to you in any way. This is a way of damaging their credibility. It is also a way of telling them that as far as you are concerned, they are free slave labor. This is not the same thing as pointing out specific things that they could have improved, which is constructive criticism, and might actually help them improve their own work in the future. Constructive criticism should be avoided if you do not want to have a useful discussion. Above all, never show any appreciation or gratitude.

Psychoanalyze them[edit]

As long as it's about your adversaries and not your reasoning, don't forget to psychoanalyze them. Don't have a doctorate in psychiatry or a master's in psychology and counseling? That's quite all right! Because, of course, everyone on the other side is solely motivated by hate or fear — Whoops, that should be "phobia." Get them off their feet by putting them on the couch!

In the case of gay rights, you can accuse them of "homophobia." This means not that they are afraid of a group, but that they are afraid they are secretly members of the group. This would mean they are arguing against rights because they are desperate to deny themselves the rights.

In the case of someone who refers to themself a lot, you can accuse them of narcissism. Moreover, if they claim you are attacking them, you can accuse them of paranoia. If they show a wide range of emotions from happy to irritable to sad, or develop big plans that you envy, you might even accuse them of having Bipolar disorder. If their actions make absolutely no sense to you, you can accuse them of dementia, psychosis, or schizophrenia. If they are now on the defensive, you can make several more diagnoses!

Assuming you also lack a degree in Criminal Justice, why not call your adversary a pedophile? After all, picking a partner that shocks you must imply they would pick other partners that would bother an actual lawman.

Any of the above techniques has the useful effect of de-personifying your opponent. This is a perfect way not to have a useful discussion — because only persons have discussions.

Accuse them of violating your religion[edit]

It doesn't matter if they are not members of your religion. They MUST follow ALL the rules of YOUR religion, or they are immoral! Make sure everyone knows this! Point out every single time they did not follow the rules of YOUR religion so that you can call them immoral. Plus you can also call them several other additional insulting names that are associated with being immoral, such as "heretic", "unclean", "evil witch", "Satan worshipper", "slut", compare them with kindling, and so on. Calling your opponent immoral will certainly lead to a discussion that is not useful!

Make lame excuses[edit]

Even if your own work is subpar, make excuses for yourself, no matter how lame the excuse. Always have an excuse handy! In fact, you should collect excuses, so that you have as many spare excuses to use as possible! Never allow anyone to pass responsibility, nor especially blame, to you! Be sure to dismiss any actual valid and credible reasons that the other person has as lame excuses so that they don’t notice your own lame excuses.

Become angry at the slightest criticism[edit]

If someone criticizes you, this is the first step to them all-out blaming you. Thus, you must never accept any criticism, no matter how small, no matter how trivial. Never let anything roll off your back, and never take anything in stride. Avoid blame at all costs!

Interrupt constantly[edit]

Never let the other person get a word in edgewise. Never let them even make their point.

Never apologize[edit]

Apologies are the bane of UN-useful discussion. They can change even the least useful of discussions into a useful discussion, as they help mend the working relationships that civil discussions are usually based on. Thus, they must be avoided at all costs! If there seems to be no way to avoid an apology, make sure it is not sincere. Insincerity is a great way to keep discussions from being useful!

Repeat yourself[edit]

If the first time doesn't get the point across, the 20 millionth time should. Make sure you repeat yourself as often as possible. Act angrier with each repetition. Better yet, repeat all the steps above until the discussion is over.


Facts? We don't need no stinkin facts. Deny the facts, lie, and tell the other person that nothing happened the way they remember it, explain condescendingly that they know less than you do, and change all the facts conveniently to suit you. If they try to question you further, especially anything regarding ethical or legally "grey area" behavior on your part, deny everything and imply that they are the guilty party and you are the victim. Guilt trips are especially effective in not having useful discussions, since they will then avoid you whenever possible. Now your opponent should be either completely confused, or will be especially angry with you, hopefully enough to give you an advantage because enraged people are unlikely to be able to plan new strategies in the minute. However, just be sure that you are far enough out of reach to avoid injury or deadly projectiles, or you will lose. Make up as many phony stories as you need to avoid a useful discussion.

Win at any cost[edit]

Life is all about winning. Nobody likes losers. Never give in to anyone on anything. Never let them win. Make the discussion into a game of chicken, where neither party will yield.

Run for Congress[edit]

Now that you have mastered the art of winning and having useless discussions, you are now in a prime position to run for political office. Find some suckers to vote for you: pay the mass media massive amounts of money for advertising, knock on some doors, and post some lawn signs to find suckers to vote for you. Or, if you are especially ambitious, go for the Big One and run for President. (Please!)