Riding the Woo-woo Highway



Dear Dharma,

I need some advice!  I have a longtime friend who has always been kind of on the odd side, but really fun to hang with and always good for some laughs.

“Odd” as in she was into healing crystals and essential oil type stuff, kind of new age-y modern hippy style.  I was always fine with that, I don’t think there is anything there but whatever, it is harmless and she could have worse hobbies.

Lately though, it seems like she has shifted gears and is now heading full tilt down the woo-woo highway.  She always has a new story about how the government is spraying chemicals from plane exhaust, and there is a cure for cancer that big drug companies won’t let be sold, and how vaccines are dangerous… real tinfoil hat conspiracy theory stuff.

When it started I laughed it off, and made jokes about it. However, the last time we hung out, she got pretty PO-ed at me and stormed off, after accusing me of being close minded and a blind sheep.

I had a look at some of the web pages and YouTube videos she pointed out to me, and OMG it’s a whirlpool of whack jobs!

Now I’m really worried about her. I mean this is stuff that no rational person would buy. Any arguments are met with her saying I am too afraid to hear the truth.

I don’t want to lose a friend I have known for most of my life… But at the same time it’s like she isn’t really the same person.  How can you argue with someone who won’t listen?

I get that she could probably ask you the same thing about me, but at least I know the earth is round, and people really did walk on the moon.  Am I just over reacting to the whole thing?

Sensible in Seattle

Dear Seattle,

Ahaha… “Woo-woo highway” and “whirlpool of whack jobs!” – my favorite phrases of the day, so thank you for that.

I think you have to approach this by adding it to the list of topics that are generally avoided when opinions differ to the extreme. Like religion and politics.

Clearly you and your longtime friend are on completely different pages here.  And neither of you are going to gain anyway headway if you keep butting heads.

Can you simply agree to disagree?  This would have to be a two-way street, so you’d have to be ready to commit before suggesting it… can you see yourself doing that, or are her views too life encompassing?

If you both think each other are idiots for not seeing things the way they obviously are, the premise of respect will be lost.  Meaning there won’t be much to fight for … so you both need to decide if there is enough glue outside of this topic to hold the friendship together.

Only an open and respectful conversation and evaluation will answer that, one where neither of you are trying to show each other the light…

And of course, even though Dharma enjoys your terminology, I’d advise you to steer clear of any reference to the “woo-woo highway”…



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