A Good Person To Talk To

There was a moment in episode seven of Wotakoi that I keep thinking about.

Narumi and Hanako are talking about how their respective boyfriends just aren’t very good to talk to when it comes to their shared passion, yaoi.

Hanako’s boyfriend, Tarou, unfortunately isn’t very accepting of yaoi. As for Narumi’s boyfriend, Hirotaka, Narumi laments that while he doesn’t mind talking about boys love, “he simply doesn’t have strong preferences.” In response, Hanako agrees and claims he is not a good person to talk to in regards to yaoi.

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Is that the requirement to be considered a good person to talk to or consult with? Are strong preferences what is universally preferred?

As someone who tries to see both sides of an issue, I was thrown for a loop. Am I a bad person to talk to because I try to stay open-minded?

Granted, there are things I do feel strongly against. LGBTQ+ rights are important to me. Being able to express an opinion without being labeled or insulted should be the de facto norm, in my opinion. If you deliberately cross these guidelines, then you should expect me become noticeably less cordial and patient.

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I do have my own opinions on other situations and perspectives, of course. But I’m not going to start a shouting match with someone who claims that cute girls doing cute things shows are boring. It’s a lot more easier to vaguely agree and note that there are some boring CGDCT shows out there, just like how there are some boring rom-com or mecha shows.

Maybe that’s not considered to be good conversation since I’m just going along with what the person said. I’ve been told that I cave too easily in the face of strong opinions.

But it’s because in the face of someone who strongly believes in something you happen to strongly disagree with, what can be realistically done? Even if I try to convince the “opponent” into believing your viewpoint or perspective has merit or is even correct, I might as well be doodling on a whiteboard with a non-permanent pen. That’s how enduring my opinions ultimately are when they’re up against someone who utterly and thoroughly disagrees.

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It makes me wonder if there is any meaning to discussions sometimes. It’s unreasonable to expect to convince some people on some topics. Would sharing my thoughts on this or that really change anything? Dissenters and people who agree will likely swing by and let me know their stances on what I’ve written about, but I’m not changing anyone’s minds with what I’m saying here, I feel.

And there are plenty of tricky, nuanced issues that really could go either way. So many of my editorials and articles and questions can easily be answered by, “It depends.” I might as well as get a stamp with those two words on it to make things a little easier.

But I digress. Personally, I think a person having strong preferences isn’t automatically someone who is good to talk to. Tarou has strong opinions on yaoi – he just happens to reject yaoi which makes him a little less cool in my book and not an ideal person for Hanako or Narumi (or anyone, really) to talk to in regards to yaoi.

I actually think the key is being open-minded. And respectful.

Running into someone who strongly shares (most of) your beliefs and opinions is always a treat, of course. I have tons of fun gushing about Aqours or Saki with my online friends.

But true discussion occurs when you come across someone who disagrees with you. Talk it out between the two of you, if you must. Staying open-minded and respectful, however, should always be prioritized. It would make for a rather unpleasant interaction otherwise.

Or maybe shouting matches and being insulted are your thing. Who am I to say? According to Hanako and Narumi, I’m generally not a good person to talk to.

11 thoughts on “A Good Person To Talk To

  1. I can’t talk about anime. However, I found this really awesome online world where I get to talk about anime with zero judgement. It is hard to not get to share something you are interested in with others and I’m overcoming my own issues with that. I’m starting to slowly share my interests and finding out that I care less and less what others think of me. Also I have strayed very much from your original point.
    In the end I hope I never make others feel like I did for a long time and that they can share an opinion with me and I can listen. There are some things I am def more passionate about, but I still hope I can listen and I think that is all we can ever hope for.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, where you strayed to sounds very pleasant indeed. There’s no need to stick to the original point haha.

      Mmm I suppose that’s really all we can hope for. We all mean well but sometimes others won’t reach out. Or we inadvertently let them down. It’s all a mess.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great introspective post! I tend to stick to the neutral side and weigh the both (or multiple if more) sides of the argument too. But its hard to keep a strong and enriching discussion going to learn more about different perspectives if one side is persistent (but to the extent of being overbearing, even if not extreme) on a single opinion.
    .
    Aside from discussing on anime-related opinions, which I consider a minor obstacle in that context; the lack of open-mindedness is pretty apparent in society (i.e. work / socio-politics / social phenomena). Although it is understandable that the strong opinions/preferences are driven by agenda or KPIs, its still rather frustrating when a pseudo-understanding (actually sarcastic) tone is used to counter other relevant perspectives. :\
    .
    Perhaps it depends on the context – what it really means to ‘be a good person to talk to’ – as driven by agenda. For someone looking for support or approval, a “generalist” might not be a good person to talk to. Then again, if someone is looking for an interesting conversation, that I believe would make you ‘a good person to talk to’ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeaa generalists ftw!!!
        Haha, although I am curious if there is something specific that you would have a dominating preference / perspective on (Not counting the concept of rational balance in arguments as one in this case, hehe).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yessssss

          Hmmm. I have some strong opinions when it comes to yuri but I try to stay open-minded when it comes to ships! Other than that I try to stay neutralish. Emphasis is on “try,” haha.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. I think it might be because not having strong preferences is often linked to apathy or a general lack of knowledge/insight. I know I don’t have strong preferences on yaoi, and my fujoshi friends wouldn’t really talk to me about it, because I won’t get particularly pumped up for such a talk and won’t be interesting to them because of my lack of developed opinions/interests. It’s like how you can’t discuss a book with someone who hasn’t read it.
    I’d love to go to an open-minded person for life advise, but they may have to be more than just open-minded if I want to have a niche discussion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great point. I suppose if people want to have involved discussions on particular subjects they care about, they’ll prefer to talk to someone who is more knowledgeable about and interested in aforementioned subjects, even if said someone holds opposing opinions. From there they can argue/talk about matters that are up to debate, which streamlines the discussion process since there won’t be excess explanation to get newcomers up to speed.

      That makes a lot of sense in my opinion. Thank you for enlightening me! c:

      Liked by 1 person

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