This is a weird position I have found myself in.
I go to a lot of events, and I’ve noticed the people I go with or see there try to convert me to their lifestyle which heavily feature said events. Examples:
1) I go to the gym once a week with a friend. They always suggest me going 1 or 2 times more per week and doing tiny exercises all day long.
2) I go to a rope-bondage-workshop. After the 90min-sessions the organizer keeps talking for 20-30 minutes about how we all can improve heavily if we have a rope on-hand all day and excercise with it all day long.
3) A few friend who is heavily into nutrition regularly suggest changing my diet to accomodate more protein/fibre/etc
I would like to do all of these things, but I do not have the time and/or energy! I am happy already I can manage 1 gym-trip per week, and adjusting my lifestyle to accomodate more is not feasible.
And when I have to listen to somene trying to convert me I do now know how to make them stop without seriously alienating them (as may have happened in the past)
I have mentioned this idea to a few friends, and that I feel the social contract in that situation is brokenby the other person. “I attend your workshop, learn something, have fun, pay you, but I will not listen to you trying to convert me completely to this idea for another period of time that is 1/3rd of the actual workshop itself”, and everyone disagrees saying I should just swallow and endure it.
What would be an appropriate way to deal with this?
Hello! Good news, this is all very solvable.
The script you’re looking for is “Thanks, I’m good” or “Thanks, I’ll think about it” or “Thanks, but no” or “Thanks but this is working for me” followed by action:
Either change the subject (in conversations with friends) or give yourself permission to leave (from workshops that go on too long).
Be terse. Don’t elaborate about why. Explaining to people you’d love to but you can’t right now because: reasons! is registering as a negotiation. Your reasons are good reasons and reasons would convince you to drop the subject, but people who don’t take no for an answer see “reasons you don’t want to do x” as “problems to be solved,” like if they could just helpfully fix your time/energy constraints you would be at the gym eating fiber-covered-protein with one hand while you skillfully manipulate ropes in the other all day every day.
You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do or with more intensity than you want to do it and you don’t have to be a conversational hostage here. “Thanks, but that doesn’t work for me” + “Are you excited for Riverdale coming back?” (or the subject change topic of your choice and interest) can get the job done. Someone who keeps pushing you when you’ve made it clear that you don’t want to talk about or do something is the one making it weird, not you. If people push more, follow up with “Hey, why are you still asking about this when I’ve said ‘no thanks?’” “I love your enthusiasm, friend, but what I’m doing now is right for me.”
With the workshop it might have felt like it was rude to leave, like, it officially ended but there was no pause to say thank you or ask questions and everyone was still sitting there politely listening. You can still leave, though! Get up quietly and go. If you want to thank the instructor later, send an email. The people who find the extra info valuable can stay.