We’ve all been there, at a dinner party where the wine glasses tinkling and people slipping into the easy relief of the weekend and letting loose. Or if you prefer, game night, and in between triumphant whooping and spell-casting, you’re chatting. Or [insert fairly diverse social scenario here.]
Then all of a sudden, out of Totalfuckingnowhere, someone says something about a topic that is your bailiwick.
It turns out they’re wrong, or pushing a particular misconception. You might be a food anthropologist, and someone is talking about how the paleo-diet is how we’ve eaten historically. You might be a local water-treatment engineer, and someone is talking about how the water quality in the area is crap (which you know is not true,) you might have celiac disease, and someone (perfectly capable of digesting gluten but in denial) is talking up that “gluten-free” place that made your intestines bleed. Or you’re a climate scientist, and I’ll just leave it there. You might be a computer security guru, and someone is talking about how to correcthorsebatterystapletheirpassword. Or you could be a physicist and someone is conflating the observer effect and the uncertainty principle.
Now, you’re a nice person, and this is a relaxed social atmosphere, but you can’t just let it go. Hey, no one can know everything, right? So, with grace and poise you attempt to relieve them of their misconception.
After politely stating that they are wrong and why, suddenly they do the unexpected: They double-the-fuck-down. Whether they’ve decided that you are somehow no match for their rhetorical skills, took a course on it once in college, are utterly embarrassed that they could ever be wrong about anything, or have simply gone into 'Splaining Mode at the thought a mere Child/Girl/Werewolf pup would challenge them on their bullshit.
Somehow, despite being absolutely, unequivocally, and beyond all doubt in the right, you’re caught between the desire to drop it entirely:
And a certain seething blistering need to school someone:
So my question (which isn’t really a question so much as a request for anecdotes and knowledge) is in two parts:
- What are you an “expert” in? (Expertise not limited to degrees and accreditation, you’re expertise might be being gay and dealing with someone who has zero clue what it entails.)
- What is something you constantly have to correct people on that for whatever reason, invites pushback? My preference, as the title states, is for things that experts consider complex and difficult to even begin explaining to someone without a background, but it can be anything.
Tell me your pain.