Derail Using Anger

You’re Being Hostile
This is a great one to pop out if it seems like they’re going to push the matter. After all, nobody wants to be “hostile”, do they? In a culture rigidly defined by social protocol, invariably designed to favor the privileged, people are very concerned about “getting along with others“. Especially marginalized people! Know why? Well, since they’re marginalized, they experience a variety of discrimination usually in many aspects of their daily lives. It is not at all unusual, therefore, for marginalized people to have to be accustomed to being very, very cautious about the way they engage with the privileged. This is because discrimination may mean they routinely encounter violence, silencing, oppression or just good old-fashioned outright ridicule and diminished. That can make life stressful and exhausting, so many marginalized people develop complex strategies to avoid hostile engagements with privileged People. Further to this, marginalized people are forced into a certain sort of social behavior by privileged people – “appropriate” behavior After all, there are different rules for them than there are for the privileged.

This training in “appropriate” behavior usually begins when they are very young, so it is well-ingrained. By accusing them of hostility, you will successfully enliven their sense of caution and anxiety around this matter. You may also provoke a feeling of guilt that they are not “behaving” the way they have been trained to. But even better – by accusing them of hostility, you pass the blame back to them, rather than consider what you might have said that was so offensive and hurtful it caused the “hostility”! This will definitely work in your favor, because it will further insult and enrage them. You are making progress…

You’ve Lost Your Temper So I Don’t Have To Listen To You Anymore
This one is particularly effective because it really pushes home a sense of futility and hopelessness to the marginalized people. Remember they should never get the impression they can win one of these arguments, because you should be consistently implying that there was never anything to argue over to begin with.

If you’ve been following the steps correctly so far, by this point any reasonable person is going to be feeling pretty angry. This anger could lead to them being more aggressive and abrasive. The marginalized people have possibly even decided that you’re simply too obnoxious to waste patience on and is venting their sense of frustration. This is when you whip this step out! You can use it to disregard everything they’ve said to you and just not deal with the issue, in particular ignoring your prior behavior that led to the anger.

Conventions of social conduct hold civil discourse as the ideal at all times. When people get angry, it gives you a convenient “out” without having to concede to any of their objections or acknowledge their pain. Furthermore, with this one you can make it seem as though you were ready and willing to listen, but then they ruined it. This way you can leave them with the sense that if only they’d been a good little marginalized people and toed the line, then they may have won someone over to the cause! It just adds a particular distaste to the whole affair that no derailing should be without!

You Are Damaging Your Cause By Being Angry
By now their feelings are probably deeply hurt and they’re very angry. Don’t forget they encounter this kind of discrimination in subtle ways every single day of their life, so they’re bound to be emotional about it, even resentful. You can take advantage of this weakness to emerge the victor! After all, everyone knows the marginalized have an obligation to conduct themselves with quiet dignity in the face of infuriating tribulation and if your quarry begins to get angry and “aggressive” then you have won! Why? Well, it’s very simple – just hold them as representative of their entire group! You could try saying something like “you realize you’re making all X look bad?”, or “well, congratulations for backing up the stereotype of X as being angry, irrational and oversensitive!”

Maybe you can even say “well, I was about to say I was willing to listen to you, but then you got insulting so now I don’t have to!” Don’t worry about silly things like their feelings – c’mon, they’re grownups, aren’t they! The only thing that matters is defending your discrimination as completely fair and to avoid examining your prejudiced arguments in ways that may challenge them. You could even drop this little bomb: “You are damaging your cause by being angry, real understanding can only happen if all sides are respectful and patient”.

Not only do you come across as a smug, self-righteous asshat (though you may prefer the term “bigger person”) you can also manage to subtly make them feel guilty about their anger, as though it’s undeserved! Everybody wins! Well, except them of course.