There is no end to issues that we want to avoid. Sometimes we want to avoid them completely. Sometimes we want to put them off until later. Sometimes we want to shove them completely onto someone else’s shoulders. Here are some tips to help you skirt the issues.
Ask yourself “Do I want to deal with this now?” “Do I want to deal with this at all?” If your answer is ‘yes’ to these questions, you do not want to skirt issues. If your answer is ‘heck no!’ then the next steps are for you.
Change the subject. If asked “Where were you last night?, simply reply with something like “Hey, did you see that episode of Star Trek where Kirk makes out with the green woman wrapped in foil?” Then launch into an aggressive and detailed description. They will be so engrossed in your storytelling that they won’t remember that they asked you a question…for now.
Head for the kitchen. If there is a kitchen handy, this is an effective tool for skirting the issue. If asked “Why did you take $200 out of our checking account?”, start walking towards the kitchen. As you walk, say something along these lines, “I’m starving. I’m going to make grilled cheese sandwiches and fried potatoes. You want some?” Proceed to dig out ingredients, request their help, bang pots and pans, make ‘yummy’ noises and soon your inquisitor will be all wrapped up in your production.
Yell for someone. This works if you are in a crowded place such as a supermarket, mall or parking lot. If asked “Why is there a dent in the car?”, yell out “Hey Steve” and wave your hands about as if you’ve just seen someone you know. It also helps to start walking in the direction of ‘Steve’. Tell your inquisitor that you’ve just seen someone you know and are going to find them and say ‘hi’. If this occurs in a ‘mall’ atmosphere, you can actually skirt the issue for quite some time, since you will get ‘sidetracked’ at some fictitious store along the way.
Claim visitors. If you are on the phone and find yourself with an inquisitor who wants you to deal with an issue, simply tell them to hold on for a minute, there is someone at the door. This can also be used if you are at the office. Wait about 30 seconds and return, saying that so-and-so has dropped in and you will call them back later.
There are also the old stand-bys such as: I didn’t get your email, I didn’t get your message, I didn’t hear the phone ring, and I didn’t hear the doorbell. In this age of technology messages are alerted, saved, reminded, tagged, replayed and saved, so these might not be viable. When all else fails, they are certainly worth a try.
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