“I hate my body!”

Devastating comment I just saw on social media. So I decided to answer some questions.

Do I have a perfect body?
Well, my ribs hurt in the morning. I have to stretch my back in the morning. I am so short I have to march to keep up with a casual stroll. A turkey neck is starting. Poor eye sight.

Do I love my body?
Yes, I do love my body. It’s athletic. It’s got great dexterity. My face muscles effectively communicate my emotions (sometimes too well!). It’s capable. I love it.

Do I think my body looks good?
“Looks” good? I don’t understand the question. Is my body supposed to look a certain way? I thought it was supposed to “move” not “look.”
I know some people like to date good-looking people. Well, I view “people who want to date good-looking people” as a character flaw, so no loss there.
Maybe you can help me understand the importance? (please leave in comments)

Don’t I want to look good though? If I could?
Uhm. I’m starting to wonder… Are you passively trying to convince me I shouldn’t be happy with my body? That I should strive to be better-looking? That I’m not perfect the way I am?

Then let me ask you a question.
Is this your normal? Did someone tell you my love and worth depends on my looks?
If you think I should think like you do,
Are you happy?

I am. Come join me on this side. The side where the only thing that can bother me are things that conflict with my set of values.

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“But I’m not finished”

Ever feel like you’re interrupted all the time without the other person doing any interrupting? You want to communicate your frustration, but you just don’t have a word to describe it?

I found one for us.

“I bought a new car!”
“Good for you! I really like my car I bought about a year ago. I got a really good deal on it too, and it’s my favourite colour.”

“I cycled 100 km!”
“I know someone who cycles a lot. She cycled across the country. She is doing ironman all the time.”

Someone came in the door and yelled “I GOT A PROMOTION!” and someone else yelled out, “I MADE DEPARTMENT HEAD LAST YEAR TOO!” And now everyone is talking about their own promotion or lack there of. (True story I witnessed)

Those are too obvious? How about…

“I had a great time at the party.”
“Me too. I also met someone really interesting, and we might get together for coffee soon. It’s been a while since I met just a solid guy, you know?”

Google tells me this is called conversation hijacking.
There are various forms (includes one-upping), but the common theme is the change of topic. “I didn’t change the topic. They said ‘car,’ so I talked about cars!”
Hang on a sec here. The topic of a social conversation is never a thing but always the person talking about the thing. Once you start talking about a thing or an issue, that’s a discussion. And, no, you don’t get to decide it’s a discussion not a social conversation.

The topic of a social conversation is never a thing

Do you have this habit? Everyone does! I do! For just one day, pay attention to the first word out of your mouth in any social conversation. “I,” “my” (my dog), and “me” (as in “Me too”) are good indicators.

If everyone does it, why am I going on about this. Who cares? Because not having a word for it ruined the relationship with the most adorable person I met in the last 10 years. All of my friends know that I love being single and it’s extremely rare for me to be excited about a relationship. He was fantastic in every other way. Considerate, sensitive, honest, caring, and interesting.
He had two habits. Laughing at his statements (not just jokes) even before he finishes it and conversation-hijacking.

The effect of conversation hijacking on the other person is the same as cutting them off mid-sentence. The act itself is not nearly as violent. But, just the same, it make them feel diminished, unimportant, uninteresting, replaceable, disconnected, and discouraged. It’s gas-lighting: Telling me over and over how interested they are of getting to know me, then immediately interrupt me when I start talking.

The effect on my mentality was like severe. My 5-year-old rescue suddenly one day learned the concept of trade-offs. I picked up the ear drop he hates, and he immediately came and sat in front of me for the eventual treat. OMG, right? My thought wasn’t “I can’t wait to tell him!” Instead my heart drops, thinking “Well. I’ll say ‘my dog did something interesting today,’ and I’ll spend the next 5 minutes listening to how he never had a dog but liked them and how many of his friends had dogs and what kinds they were and all the details of dog training methods that he’s read about.” I still tried, and he never once let me down on my predictions.

Why didn’t I speak up? I did. He hijacked it too.
“[interjecting] Hey, can I finish my story?” “Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt. I just wanted to connect with you by showing I am very interested in dogs too. I wish I had one, actuHAHAHAHAHAHA. It’s nice to have mutual interest, and it’s a foundation to a good relationship so you have something to talk about. It could get boring if you [inaudible]HAHAHAHAHAHA. Well, I guess you don’t have things in common, you can learn something together and you’ll create topics you have [inaudible]HAHAHAHAHAHA. [on and on] So? You were saying what did your dog do today?”

After a while, I started competing. I started running my sentences together for fear that a pause would allow him to get in. I started talking louder. I started interrupting his interruptions, and he would interrupt my interruption of his interruption. We would both be talking for 15 seconds (check how long that really is on a clock), both of us refusing to relinquish the ground. I’m sure my eyes glazed over. The more I tried, the more often I gave him a chance to demoralize and dishearten me.

And one day I could no longer tell stories because I’d choke on the sadness of this dysfunction, which ended up justifying his hijacking even more. I stopped even trying to tell stories from my day. He asks “How was your day?” and I just look at my knees.

I thought the fix is easy, you know? Just don’t start a sentence with “I,” “my,” or “me” until the other person changes the subject. Don’t know what to say otherwise? Ok. That’s fair. Get a couple of defaults ready, like “Uh huh, and?” or “Wow! How was it?” or “yay! You must be so proud!” or “Oh that sucks. Since the fix was so easy in my eyes, I took the whole thing personally. “If he were interested, he could do this.”

I believe the whole picture would have been different if I knew the word for it. Even though he was so absorbed in it that he would even hijack “Can I finish my story?” he wouldn’t hijack “You’re hijacking,” right?

The hockey skate profile – demystified

Skate profile, hollow, and fit for rec players and kids need to be discussed by a rec player who have similar muscle-skeletal strengths. So I volunteered.

Selecting a hockey skate blade “profile” and “hollow” are much simpler than it seems.

First, let me tell you my opinion if you don’t want to read any of this.

I use 9-and-half foot profile in front and 10′ in the back for smaller feet. Bigger feet might want to got 9 and 9-and-half. Half way through the steel, get them re-profiled because the steel gets rounder every time it gets sharpened.

Start at 1/2″ hollow. If the skate gives you a jolt your legs find hard to handle, your rink might have soft ice – go to 5/8″ (smaller the number, deeper the hollow. So 5/8″ is shallower than 1/2″). If the skates are unsafely dull before you can manage to take them to the shop, go to 7/16″. If you can take it in more often, do try 5/8″. If you scrape the ice on transitions, or have catastrophic “catching an edge” falls, try to stay 5/8″ or 1/2″ to prevent injuries.

Simple enough?

Now the explanations for curious minds.

Profile is the shape from the side. This skate started out with Graf’s factory default – 9.5′ in front and 10′ in the back. It’s seen a few sharpening, and the front definitely looks more rounded. Because the skate sharpener has to press the skate into the mill, each sharpening ends up rounding the profile a little.
wpid-img_20150704_133121

Hollow is the shape when looking at it from the back. See it’s concave, basically creating two parallel blades? Because it sucks to have one blade or a flat bottom. More on this later.
IMG_20150704_171849_edit

Skate blades sink into the ice.

First we have to understand that we are doing all this talk because skate blades sink into the ice. Because ice isn’t all that hard. Because, I’d you don’t sink into the ice, you don’t get to stop or turn.
If you doubt me, take a thick piece of metal – like your skate blade or a child’s scissors and push it into an ice cube (in an ice tray or on a thick cloth so you don’t cut yourself). You can easily make an indentation with your hands. (If you think it’s melting instead of denting, leave the metal in the freezer first.)
Now imagine a whole weight of a human body skating. Yes, you’ll sink even though you’re really skinny and look great in those jeans you bought last week.
Selecting a hollow and profile are all about how the blade sinks into the ice, so we have to adjust our selection if the rink is warmer or colder than average (standard: go with shallower hollows if warm).

Skips to the next section if too much information: why ice is soft.

Even though ice, water crystal, is as hard as concrete if you fall on it, the thin layer of the surface is soft. The rink’s room temperature is intentionally set that way because we need the ice to melt easily (also, very cold ice chips too easily). Things like steel slide better on ice at a warmer temperature because what makes things slide is the water not ice. Those of us from cold areas know this. After you finish ice fishing before dawn, try sliding on the ice. You do slide but don’t go too far. Wait till the sun is up and try again – oh actually don’t. You’ll slide so far it’s actually unsafe. Never fished? How about freezing rain – the temperature that’s perfectly between water and ice – it’s far more slippery than ice. so slippery my car on winter tires slid sideways down a hill once.

So, at the rink, the temperature is that it’s cold enough to keep the ice frozen but warm enough so that the friction of the blade on the ice can melt it to create a water film on top of the ice. There have been some efforts to invent blades that melt the ice. Graf’s T-blade came the closest, I believe. Currently in development is a steel that’s actually heated.

How do they decide exactly how cold? Well, they actually set it based on how well it works for hockey skates. They warm up the rink a bit for figure skates with flat bottoms (no hollow) where their edges are literally only as sharp as the edge of a cube.

Sinking and Hollow

Local sharpening guys always recommend quite a deep hollow. They always say the number is the radius of a circle it would draw if you extended the curvature, but my eyes have trouble seeing it. Check out the photo above. That does not look like a part of an inch circle (it’s a 1/2″ hollow). Anyway. I digress. All we need to know is that the smaller the number, the deeper the hollow.

7/16″ is what they almost universally recommend. I know I’m the most effective skater I can be at 5/8″ (= 10/16″). That, in a skate world, is a huge difference. Why do I not like deep hollows even though they are recommended by guys who’ve been sharpening skates for years? Because I tried them all.

A deep hollow does two things. One – it sinks deeper. The left is like you walking through snow. The right is you on snowshoes. You have more surface to keep you from sinking deeper.
hollow1
When your steel is right into the ice, it’s like cross country skis in the groove. It creates delay and great strain when turning against the groove. With the smallest mistake in timing or weight transfer, you catch an edge. Trained players may be so strong they don’t feel this extra effort. But we do.
Most skate sharpeners might tell you “Profile is what controls the ease of turn. You just go to a more aggressive (rounded) profile.” This is half true – you can do that – and half not – you shouldn’t just do that alone. More on this later.

Have you gone sea kayaking and white-water kayaking? It takes effort to turn a sea kayak without using the rudder. White-water kayak with flat bottom loves to turn. This is the same thing for skate blades. For hockey where we want both qualities, we have to find a sweet spot.

hollow4

Ever heard a friend say their skates are more comfortable in the third ice time after a sharpening? What’s likely happening is that the dull blade is giving them an effect like a shallow hollow.
hollow8
I recommend those skaters to try a shallower hollow. What’s wrong with a dull, deep hollow if they are comfortable with it? Nothing – if you can tolerate being uncomfortable (and unsafe – those cause you to “catch an edge” or to have to put a lot more force into a simple turn, causing chronic inflammation of knees) those first couple of ice times and if you’re ok with the drawbacks of the skates being dull. And if you can always plan sharpening 3 ice times before an important game. My point is – if it’s all the same, why not aim at the hollow that’s designed to produce that feel right off the get-go?
Two – when you turn, you push against a harsher angle.
hollow5
If this is hard to imagine “pushing against the side walls” happening while turning forward, imagine stopping.
stopping
So, as we discussed above, the skate blades sink into the ice, and your skates are in a groove. Turning is an effort against the side walls of the groove. But, imagine if you had skis whose bottoms are shaped like a back of a spoon – you can slide right out of the groove. Skates with shallow hallows (on right in the picture above) does just that. Disclaimer: I didn’t study this with a microscope. But it makes sense, doesn’t it. If you disagree with my analysis, that’s ok. “One” above still stands.

So what is the drawback of that angle? Would the shallow groove not stop as quickly? Possibly. When I use deeper hollows, I do feel a jolt when stopping, so that probably means it’s stopping faster (when turning tight, the hindrance from the “groove” is more prominent than any advantage it might be giving me).
But hockey is not about stopping. It’s about making a play or sprinting after stopping. The jolt is a complete utter hindrance to this. So even if 1/2 stopped inches behind 7/16, it puts you in a better position because you don’t have to spend a couple of seconds recovering from the jolt. This is where we might differ from trained players.

So why do I not skate on 5/8″ now? It’s because it gets too dull to skate effectively too quickly. A razor with a bit of the tip taken off would still cut. An axe with a bit of the tip taken off would bruise, not cut. So once 5/8″ gets “just a little bit dull,” it’s way too dull. Professional players get their skates sharpened every period if they want to. I don’t have that luxury. When I used to skate on 5/8″, I’d have to take my skates in about every 8 ice times. With 7/16″, I go 15. When I forget to take them in, dull 5/8″ is dull. A dull 7/16″, you can still skate on them. I know a strong skater, an average-sized man, who haven’t sharpened in years. I don’t know what his hollow is. I should ask.

So why do the skate sharpening guys recommend deeper hollow? I don’t know, actually. They said they grip the ice better. In my experience, there is no noticeable difference between a sharp 7/16 and sharp 5/8. Maybe they like the feeling of extra gripping? (that sensation is extra work against sinking deeper, not extra efficiency) Maybe there is business reason? (“oh my sharpening lasts longer when I go to this shop”) Maybe the sharpening machine manufacturer are teaching them that? Or maybe because there is something else in play.

Conclusion?
Shallow grooves are good. But there are compromises and conditions like “as long as you can keep them sharp.” So go with the middle of the range like 1/2″.

Sinking and Profile

Profile is the shape of the blade as you look at it from the side. It’s important to have it rounded somewhat because a completely flat blade – that much of the steel in a groove – won’t turn. When I’m warming up in my goalie skates (see example below – that’s my backup skate), I can’t make a skate turn. A crossover would let me turn a corner while the skates are moving in a straight line. But the pads prevent me from doing that. So I have to do a Mohawk turn (sorry if the use of this term is offensive to anyone. I don’t know any other way to call this pivot – please educate me if it is) and turn the corner backwards in c-cuts and cross-unders, all of which lets me avoid those red arrows in the above picture.
wpid-img_20150704_133220.jpg
Players don’t have that luxury, so blades are rounded to reduce the amount of steel in the groove. It is easier to turn a mini than a greyhound.
rocker3
So why don’t I go to a really rounded profile like 7′?

Oh, by the way, the profile is described using a circle it would draw if you extended the curvature. The smaller the number, the more rounded the blade is.
rocker1

So, why don’t I skate in a 7′ rocker if that’s more agile? Three reasons.

1.  Skating in a really rounded blade is like being on a unicycle. You can turn on a spot, but it expends energy to stay in balance.
2.  It’s like snowshoes. If your contac surface is too small, you’ll sink too deep. We learned above what sinking deep does. It’ll be negating the effect of agility supposedly gained by rounding the blade.
3.  The more contact surface, the faster you skate.

The third item above needs more than a sentence to explain. This is the last item, so you can stop reading here if you are not interested.
Ever notice that a kid flies down the hill in a big toboggan? But goes down at a reasonable speed in a one-man toboggan or snow glider? Even slower in a sled on two runners? This is because friction (resistance against sliding) is a function of weight per unit surface. In other words, for the same weight, the faster you go when your weight is spread over a bigger contact surface.

In hockey skates, the contact surface is a function of two factors: Profile and Hollow. Profile decides how much steel touches the ice front to back. Hollow determines how much steel touches the ice side to side. Especially because rec players do tend to skate on hollows that are deeper than ideal, we need to maximize the profile. I skated on 10′ in front and 10′ in the back, and I was completely in a “feet on rail tracks” situation. And, not to brag, but I do know my edges, having grown up on mogul hills. I pivoted properly on Mohawks and spread my feet to stop. Even then, it was simply too big. I backed it off to 9-and-half in the front, and that was perfect.

Not everyone can do this experiment of “hit the threshold and back it off just a little” because it takes off a lot of steel when you do this and takes the sharpening buys a lot of time to shave that off (they can’t do it in one shot because it ends up heating the blades, which makes the steel brittle). Hope you can find someone who knows this stuff and have a good talk to decide what’s right for you. (Don’t trust people who use words like “heel and toe.” – that’s an out-dated method)

profile

Bonus Material: Pitch

There is a notion “forward pitch for a forward. Neutral or reverse pitch for a defenseman.” I do NOT buy into that. I’ve skated in Bauer with the most neutral (sometimes feels too much in the heel) pitch (Supreme 2000, Supreme 7000, Vapour X, Vapour [another number], One90] and Grafs in their industry’s most forward pitch (301, 501, 7-something, G70 custom, G75 custom, G9035 custom). I do not see Bauers were better for skating backwards. We, as a defenseman and as a referee, don’t just C-cut backwards. We cross-under. We do cross-under running starts. We Mohawk, step-out, stop in a v, stop in a backwards hockey stop, and, most importantly, sometimes turn and skate forward like mad when we didn’t notice a seagull behind us.

Putting a pitch in a blade is a big commitment. My advice is “Don’t do it.” Can you get used to the pitch of your new skates? If you can’t, can you switch the holder? If you must, get a really good guy because it’s a procedure mostly “eye-balled.”

Bonus Material: HOLDERS! HOLDERS! HOLDERS!

You have a wonderful, powerful car (your legs). You have a great transmission (your skate boot). You have great tires (your skate blade). Do you have a great suspension?
There is some kind of a cult feel around the TUUK holders. It’s the most popular for 20 years, and the most popular brand, Bauer, uses them. What could be wrong? Well, no one can help me understand why this holder is supposed to be good.

TUUK (excluding the most recent models I have yet to feel in my own hands without skates) is a flexible holder. I’ve felt them, twisted and bent them, in my own hands. You put all that energy into your stride, and you’re losing a lot of the power into bending the holder. Have you tried to turn and feel a slight delay? That’s probably the holder. Bauer is making tube skates since One90s. Stiff is good!, right? So why put a suspension of a passenger car on your Ferrari?
When it released the new quick-release blade system, it released blades all over the NHL ice for a season with its owners being dragged off the ice by linemates. See what I mean by “cult”?

Alternative that’s been around is Graf’s Cobra (now simply known as Ultra 5000). I wish I still had the video of me twisting these two holders side by side. Cobras are stiff, but not completely rigid. I’ve skated in them for many years, and the holder nor the quick-release have failed me once. But as we all know, Grafs are near impossible to buy at stores in and around Vancouver now.

Today, we have more alternatives.
Easton Mako’s CXN is just as light and stiff as Graf’s Cobra. It’s also pitched forward like Cobras (in fact, when you read Mako’s marketing materials, they sound exactly like Graf’s G9035. Though I think they simply copied the words in some places – e.g. the hydrophobic liner – Easton’s liner is POROUS! Maybe each fibre is hydrophobic? That defeats the purpose, doesn’t it. I truly hope that Easton not only wishes to copy Graf but also starts actually copying Graf).
CCM Tacks’ SB+4.0 is actually stiffer than Cobra or Easton’s CXN, but they are noticeably heavier. When it comes to footwear, I do not personally believe in shaving every milligram – if the milligram is giving me enough return on the investment. But that weight difference seemed a bit much. I haven’t skated in them, so I’ll reserve judgement.

Just something to think about.

So, what I do wear?

Let me first tell you who I am. I grew up a skier. I strapped on my first hockey skates at the age 27 and joined the first organized team at 30. I never took power skating, so it really shows in my skating. I kick my feet to the side like a skier, and my body tips forward when I’m not paying attention. I twist my legs from the knees and skate from my quads instead of using the glute medius, maximus, and quads.

But edges and I are great friends. I used little tiny plastic skis as my transportation in the winter as a kid. I did some jumps and trick-skiing on a casual, recreational basis. If I cheated on my edges, I paid consequences. So, today on skates, I can easily pick up trick skating skills by watching them on YouTube. When I skate, primarily my feet ride the sole of the boot to control the edges. I don’t force the skate using the boot.

My feet have an odd diamond shape to them and are impossible to fit.

So this makes me not average on various ways. Just wanted to put that out there.

I currently wear Graf G9035 with 75 flex (senior flex). I love them. The boots have panels tthat slide on top of each other rather than bend. The boot gives back what you put into it. So there  is much less  fatigue in the material and no “crushed foot” when the boot of other brands flex. The first few games I kept over-skating the puck because I’d get there in much fewer strides than it used to take.  They are fast and agile. Quick to turn – no delays. The toe cap is too deep and too wide, which makes me want to get Mako 2’s now and again. If it weren’t for the game-breaker flaw in Mako II, I’d have already bought them. But I’m very very happy with everything else. The boot comes in 5 flexes – 2 junior and 3 senior. I’m probably in between, but I’m happy with the most flexible senior (I’m 5’2″ at 128 lbs).

[This post is not completed. Please come back tomorrow]

The mystery of hockey skate blade

Mary, you may have a different input from someone more experienced than me, and you may have already tried what I’m about to say… but in case it’s helpful.  

The point is “try a shallower hollow” and “use a stone.” Read on only if you’re interested.

“catching an edge” means catching the outside edge, right? That’s a really painful fall.  In my opinion, one of two things causes this. 

1. The blade is too deep in the ice = go to a shallower hollow. 

Having a too-deep hollow is like walking through mud. You sink into the ice and have to lift your foot up and out, or you’ll catch an edge or (in my case) toe-pick. 

Ice is as hard as concrete but with a soft surface. Temperature of a rink is controlled so the tiny heat from the friction of a blade running over the ice melts the ice. That means that the blade “digging” into the ice happens all the time even when we are just gliding or casually turning a cross over.

If you go to a shallower hollow, you’ll notice the feeling of “feet in rail tracks” will also dissipate. – you’re probably thinking “I don’t have ‘feet in a track’ feel?” More on this later. 

2. Irregular surface on the side of the blade = use a burr stone. 

Skates are sharp, so the edge itself is thin like a knife. It can get folded over easily especially with a deeper hollow. Have you used a knife as a screw driver? Yes, that.
Attached is my skate as I found it just now. The edge looks white and fuzzy because it’s got a burr. I’m not worried – I stone my skates before every game.  
image


Don’t just change the hollow in search of an answer though. ‎
Some factors that are crucial to selecting a hollow: 
– the skater: size, style, skill, and how often they are willing to take the skates to the shop.

– rocker: physics-wise, hollow and rocker (“profile”) work together to make it work or not work. One can also counteract the changes you make to the other.

– rink: warm rink = soft ice = shallower hollow. Or do the temperature fluctuate between rink 1 and rink 3? Go with the warmer one.

Why?
A.  “Sharp” and “deep” 

As the other article mentioned, a sharp blade does not need to be deep even for 230-lb NHS players. So going deep is a compromise between sharp and deep.

Here is the problem is deep.
Take a sharp knife and cut 2 inches into a cake. Now push it horizontally. Take a knife and cut 1/2″ into the cake and push. Shallow is easier, meaning catching the edge won’t jolt you as much.
Take a dull knife. Cut 2 inches into the case. Not easier than sharp knife. It’s not about sharp. It’s about deep.

Here is the problem with shallow.
Analogy:  A sharp axe is just as sharp as a razor. “A little bit dull” razor will still cut you, but “a little bit dull” axe will only bruise you.
So if we go as shallow as pro hockey players, we’d have to sharpen every period like they do.

You might have trouble having a conversation about this with hockey people. Sharp and deep are confused a lot, even by scholarship players and ex-pro I’ve met. How many times have you heard “oh my skates are too sharp.” What they are feeling – the “feet in the track” feel, “catching the edge” feel, “hard to turn” feel is caused by it being too deep and/or the rocker being too flat, not by too sharp (cake analogy). ‎
‎‎
B. What is your profile/rocker? 

First of all, in this area we typically use the word “profile” to refer to the shape of the blade when you look at it from the side. So that’s how I use it here.

image

If you have a very rounded profile, only a small portion of the metal touches the ice (see photo)

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. If the normal profile is like a snowshoe, you’ll be on stilts, going deeper into the ice. So if you flatten the rocker profile, you may not have to flatten the hollow.  

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P.s. Everyone has a rounded profile because every time the skates get sharpened, they get just a little bit more rounded. ‎

C. ‎”Feet in the track” feel
‎‎
It is caused by the rocker being too flat and the hollow being too deep. You end up creating the situation of cross country skiing. ‎
If you experience this as you play around with hollows and profile, congratulations! ‎In my personal opinion, we should all find that spot then back it off a little. That’s the most effective spot to skate. Just try not to get hurt before you get a chance to fix it. ‎
You can fix it by going less flat in profile or more flat in hollow. ‎‎


Hope it was helpful, but please ask me if you wish to know more. ‎

The psychopath in “rich gets richer”

The rich whose worth is the plain proof that they have more than they spend, wants more than their current worth because it’s so much more awesome to have more of that thing they aren’t spending.
At the expense of the single parents. Military vets. Minimum wage earners. Mental health sufferers. First nations. Community support for at-risk youths. Needy. Homeless. And generally, us.

The people who are putting pressure on the government to make the above happen. The politicians who are making it happen just so they can get elected for their own salary and pension not for their political ideals. 

Trump cards

“Nag.” A word that gives a negative connotation to the act of “requesting.” It’s an example of a trump card. I resent all “trump words” in relationships that, regardless of context, allows the speaker an undeserved edge in an argument.

That word NAG. I’ve heard this used in some unbelievable context. 

“You left your dirty socks in the foyer again! I just cleaned – we have guests coming.” 
“Don’t be a nag!”

“Could you take the garbage out? The truck is right there right now, and it’s your only chore.”
“Don’t be such a nag!” 

There is NO WAY the latter person should win this argument! 

There are ripping effect of these trump words that pre-empt relationship. 

Example (if you’re not interested in an example, “conversation hijacking”, skip to *****) : ‎
Someone with a beautiful heart you’d like to keep in your life. He has a horrible habit of conversation hijacking. Like this. 

He might start by asking a question.  
“What did you do yesterday?”
“I bought a new chair!”
“I haven’t bought any new piece of furniture in a while. I carried around everything I bought for my first apartment and. . . . . . . . . . . . [an entire story unfolds]”  

“How was the conference?”
“I met some great people!”
“I really like people I work with too. In particular, I like how I can meet people from all over the world in my industry. Like we have a branch in England, and. . . . . . . . ” 

Or I might start a topic. 
“I cycled 1200 km this time last year for charity.”
“I too know someone who cycle. He cycled coast to coast.” ‎

I hope you get how “conversation hijacking” works. It is a change of topic that leaves the other person feeling dismissed, unimportant, uninteresting, and used.  You don’t see it as a change of topic? You probably hijack conversations too. ‎You might be mad at me right now for saying that, but it won’t take 2 days before you will catch yourself. And, now you know, you can catch and stop yourself. 

If you ask these people, which I have done many times, they will tell you “I’m only trying to connect, right?” like I’m the one who needs to be educated. 

It is the change of topic. The topic is not the furniture. Not conferences. Not cycling. It’s me. The topic is me. It is when I’m supposed to feel this other person wants to get to know me by hearing my stories.  

How about an advanced example. 

“I feel disheartened that there is a poor attitude among people in this city about being a community.” 
“Oh I don’t know! Where I grew up, people literally fight others based on the smallest things. . . . . . . [a whole story].” ‎

The topic is “I feel disheartened,” not “people’s attitude.” A good listener would respond, maybe, “What do you mean by ‘attitude’?” or “Could you help me understand what you mean by maybe giving me some examples?” Or even “oh that sucks,” and let the speaker continue? ‎

This one’s confusing if the topic is “I feel” or if it is “poor attitude”? Yes, sometimes discussions about poor attitude starts like this too. Listen to the tone and/or the “feeling word.” Do you think they want a debate about attitudes, or are they expressing an emotions? There is your answer. If you’re not sure, don’t make a move till you are. ‎

Am I needy? Do I have a greater need to be heard than others? No. 

Do I have a keener observation than others for moments that let me down and further investigate the mechanisms of the incidents? Yes. 

Will I save some people’s friendships, relationships, and business networking by calling their attention to this? Yes, I truly believe I will.  ‎
Nothing turns people away than making them feel unworthy. ‎And conversation hijacking doesn’t just make them feel unworthy – it also comes with emotional let-down because it first gets their hopes up then drops them. 

When someone takes the time to sit with me, there is an assumption they want to get to know me better. And I’d ask (usually I’d have already asked) about their day or their stories and listened to them, sincerely, for half an hour.

So it’s like waving a bone to a dog then taking it away. Had you left the napping dog alone, it wouldn’t have been disappointed. But you had to ask “How was your day?” then take it away.   

When this trend persists, I do bring it up. “When I try to talk about what I’ve done, I’m excited that you want to hear about me and get to know me. It really helps if the topic stays on me for a little while.” They respond with the standard, “I’m only trying to connect with you by sharing my stories that have something in common, right?” And all of them say this with the tone of “GAWD.” 

One recent example – the guy admitted to not being a great listener (though it was about his defensive speech patterns rather than about conversation hijacking) and told me he listened to an audio lecture on active listening. It made zero difference. 

What do I do. Do I keep reminding him and risk being called a nag, or do I just shut up and simply not see him again? 

The former might have some extremely unpleasant moments. When I get called a nag. When I have to convince them this is chasing me away and be accused of not accepting them for who they are. 

Or maybe I should save myself a trouble and accept them for exactly who they are from afar? ‎
*****
People use trump cards to win that argument. Some are aware of what they might lose in return (e.g. A friend, a spouse), but the urge to win has taken over.
Many are unaware of the great negative impact to them of using the trump cards to win arguments they have no business winning.

We need, as a society as a whole, have to call these actions out. But we can’t call out things that don’t have a name. You know why “conversation hijacking” is so common? There is no term for it. Google would only have a few results for “conversation hijacking,” and all but two are a different use (butting into a conversation already on-going). So, everyone sees this extremely annoying phenomenon, but no one knows to call “conversation hijacking!”

We need a term for “the use of trump-card words to unjustly win an argument” so we can start calling them out. What is your suggestion?