How do I handle hostile audiences?

I received a question from someone struggling to discuss spiritual matters with their family.  They described the situation as incredibly aggressive.

My response is below:

I am so sorry to hear that you are having such difficulty in speaking with your family!  It can be exhausting when it is so close to home because it feels like there is not a time you can rest.

There certainly are situations in which further discussion is not fruitful.  If they are not willing to reason through the issues, then they have made a reasonable conversation impossible.

That being said, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you read Tactics by Greg Koukl.  In that book Koukl puts together a strategy for defending yourself during conversations, and even conversations with hostile audiences.  He has a chapter entitled “Steamroller” which begins, “Some [people] put up a real fight even when your points are reasonable and your manner is gracious…I think there are four different reasons for resistance, and I would like to explain what those are.  Then I will give you a step-by-step plan to deal with that overconfident, overbearing, and often overwhelming interrupter I call a ‘steamroller.'”

I’ve read his book 2 or 3 times already and I know it will be a great resource for you.

Matt Bilyeu

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