In the forward thinking country that Pakistan is, it may not always prove easy to discuss our own thoughts and opinions without having to face the wrath of all the people around us.
I love Pakistanis very much, sab se achay log hain, but when it comes to having a normal, mature and logical conversation about something, bhool jao. Don’t even think about it because promise, aap conversation sai seedha psychiatrist keh paas hii jayee gain.
So ab jab aap kisi party, shaadi yah dinner peh jayeingay, remember these pointers to get yourself through:
1. Listen to the other person intently.
Waisay bhee, logon ki izat karni chahiye. No matter who they are, how old they are or what kind of bakwas they are lovingly telling you, always give the other person the opportunity to not make you punch yourself in the face.
2. Have no type of reaction when they first tell you their point of view.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree or if you know the other person is completely 10000000% wrong. If you want to get through this, start out with your best poker face.
3. Tell them they are right and that every single other person in the world is wrong.
Acha, acting is key when it comes to talking about something controversial. You can never be too in awe, inspired or wide-eyed. Really play the part of a mindless nobody here, feel it, breathe it, believe it. You know nothing, shabaash.
4. In fact, praise them for their thoughts.
*Action* Uff itnii achee observation waisay, amazing! I had no idea! I have no views on this specific topic that you seem to know everything about!”
5. Ask them for their autograph
Added effect keh liye, of course.
6. Not for their credentials though (uff khabardaar).
This is the fastest way to offend any Pakistani in a conversation. Never ask them about their experience, knowledge or question them in any way for that matter.
7. Hold your breath (it’ll keep your head from exploding).
If their reasoning (or lack there of ) doesn’t make any sense to you and they refuse to hear your side, do anything you can from losing it. Holding your breath will help stifle your screams.
8. Don’t wear anything misleading.
Yo may wonder what your clothing has to do with talking about controversial stuff. Lol cute. Anything can set Pakistani people off while having a heated conversation. Be careful when deciding your outfit choices. Ripped jeans? You’re too modern to appreciate traditional values, shalwar kameez? Too traditional to welcome progressive ones. Ok.
9. Don’t look at them for too long.
Direct eye contact will indicate that you are interested in hearing more and that they should keep talking. Avoid eye contact at all costs.
10. Never offer your own opinion.
This is not a conversation, I know you think it is. Leiken nai, sorry. Aap ki koi input ki zaroorat nai hai, thanks for trying.
11. Just keep nodding.
Make it seem as if you’re still listening, even though you’re really just ready to leave so you can tweet about it or write an article about it…
12. Agree with everything.
Acha ab you’re almost done, good job for getting this far! For the grand finale, all you have to do is agree with everything (whether or not you actually do is irrelevant.)
If you really can’t handle it, just walk away, bus. It’s over. You literally don’t have to say anything, just slowly start backing away, no problem. They will be too freaked out to ask what’s wrong.
So all jokes aside, everyone is entitled to their own opinion – always. No matter how silly, smart or unconventional someone’s perspective may be, it is their own and we can only make our lives more full by trying to understand it. There are two sides to every story and every story deserves to be heard.
Stay curious and open minded, friends. Love you.
Cover image via: Talk Shows Central / YouTube