4 thoughts on “Reader query: Picking one’s battles

  1. Many years ago when I came out as a lesbian I found myself in the position to be able to choose my family.
    As such, I always engage in these battles with my chosen family. These are the people that I most expect support and community from (and those that I most engage with supporting and building community with). Such moments of discord make us better. Our collective woke-ness is important to me personally and to us as a family unit.

    With my family by relation, I engage in these battles only with my mother, sister, and brother and only when I feel especially pressed. Our relationship is fraught enough that it can be especially debilitating to get into conversations deeper than the weather.

  2. I almost never engage with family. I used to gently point things out to my dad and I will call my older brothers on things sometimes but if looks to escalate I don’t. My view is that I will only alienate them if I persist in something that they clearly don’t understand.so yes I think that with family one should pick ones battles.

  3. Regarding this, I consider a few things: is what i’m doing the best use of my energy, are the people i’m talking to open-minded or just trying to debate/ poke holes. I also consider my identity (white cis woman) and the identity of those around me and our relationships to see how susceptible or hostile to new ideas they might be. for example, i have a positive yet distant relationship with one of my cousins, and visiting him this summer and getting to know each other, I chose a few times to not bring up issues because it wasn’t worth the risk to me of damaging the budding relation.
    I grew up with my older sibling constantly calling people out, i picked up this habit, and didn’t make very many friends. I don’t know if this makes me come from a unique perspective or not, but I have since learned to be less judgmental and gained many valuable friendships. they (sibling) never learned to pick their battles, but I couldl.
    regarding picking my battles, I’m in a romantic relationship with a law student. This may not be healthy but what I consider is whatever point I wanted to make worth the headache? And then don’t bring it up.

  4. I think the extent to which one should pick their battles probably varies a lot by the battle in question and the relationship in question. I’ve hesitated to spend too much time on fraught conversations with family in the past, but now wish I hadn’t and am making a more concerted effort. There was actually an article related to this published recently in Feminist Philosophy Quarterly: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/fpq/vol2/iss2/1/

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