Dealing with Conspiracy ...

Jodian's Blog

Well, if you're here reading this I'm going to assume you've already broken Rule #1. That being, DON'T. Conspiracy theorists are devout in their belief that they are right and the universe is wrong. Nothing you say will ever change their opinion. But here you are, stuck in a conversation with one, so what do you do?

Rule #2: Don't argue. As just stated, a conspiracy theorist is devout in their belief. It doesn't matter how much evidence you have backing your side, they will always find some way to denounce it as some kind of government (or otherwise) misinformation. It doesn't matter that their own evidence may come from a government source as well, or a leak from someone who used to be in government, they'll believe that evidence (no matter how ridiculous) before they believe yours. Which brings me to...

Rule #3: Don't buy the evidence. The reason that conspiracy theorists are so good at building followers is because their conspiracies always contain a hint of truth to them. They'll take some true situation, like a Doctor quitting his job or a statistic without context, and they'll build their entire argument around that information. The best conspiracy theorists will use multiple sources, such as these, to make their argument. That said, the reality is there will always be a massive amount of information out there, for those who actually fact check, to debunk the conspiracy theorist's claims.

Rule #4: Let them think they have the high ground. Going along with my second rule, the only true way to get out of a conversation (aka argument) with a conspiracy theorist is to make them think they're winning and you're backing down. Don't take it to heart, you're not "losing" the argument, in your mind you have to realize that you've already won and are now just trying to get out of talking to the nut. The key here is not to agree with what they say, but don't disagree either. Make them think they've put you in your place. You and I both know you're just playing their ego against them, and that's all that matters. Eventually they will stop talking and you can walk away confident knowing that they're the idiot.

Rule #5: Don't take anything they say to heart & let them ramble. This rule is a two parter for a reason. Conspiracy theorists like nothing more than feeling that they're right and someone else is wrong. But we already know they aren't right, you (and all the experts backing you) are. So instead of violating rule 2 and continuing a pointless argument, you have to deal with a little bit of arrogance from the conspiracy theorist. They'll likely make some kind of off-handed remark about how you should keep your mouth shut, or they'll go discuss your "loss" of the argument with another person. That's fine, let them. Both you and I know that they're the fool, and that's all that matters. Others will also likely smile and nod, while acknowledging in their own heads that they're a fool too. So be happy that you outsmarted the conspiracy theorist and use their arrogance as a celebration of that victory.

So what happens if you don't know you've entered a conversation with a conspiracy theorist? Well, odds are you'll know immediately. You likely walked over to them with some kind of news information that made you happy, and in your excitement you went and opened your mouth to them and were met with instant backlash. It's going to shake you for a second, honestly, but you'll get over it.

Conspiracy theorists have a few things in common, so if you're around them regularly (like at work or hanging out with mutual friends) they should be easy to spot. Some of their defining traits are;

- They have strong negative opinions about all authority figures.
- They'll usually be fairly self-centered.
- They don't trust the media (then again, who really does?)
- Their day-to-day conversations usually involve conspiracies.
- They rely on their own opinion rather than fact checking.

So there you have it... In a nut-shell, that's how you deal with the conspiracy nuts out in the world today.


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