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paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22488
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I can't believe that I don't have a thread for this yet.

It all starts here:




Sometimes I meet somebody and I get the impression that if I utter a sound, they will unload a mountain of ugly hostility - directed at me. Each thing I say is offensive to them. The more I say, the more offended they are. Further, it will quickly become their life mission to stick to me and continue forever to pour out this nasty gick.

The only way to remain safe is to not engage.

Another possible tar baby is something I wrote about five years ago in a thread about living in community:

Perhaps some people might be a tar baby.

A tar baby might ask "may I borrow your drill?" and the moment they ask, you might as well give up. The tar is on you and you're DOOMED!

You think "this person probably won't care for it properly and I cannot help but think that if I let them use it, I will regret. If I say 'no' then they will get pissed and poison my relationship with the community."

Doom, doom, doom, doom.

So it turns out that the path to happiness is to own nothing. And to have no skills.

Hmmmm .... one possible way out it is to say "what do you offer in trade?" The response will probably be something like "I dunno." and then you can say "Well, when you have a suggestion come let me know. My drill and I will wait."


What might be some other examples of a tar baby?
 
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