I met a couple of bike girl‘s friends tonight and one in particular kept shit testing me, hard (which is weird because bike girl does almost no shit testing, and I like that, a lot, about her). I used a favorite technique for redirecting conversation: when a bunch of rapid fire questions come in a row, announce, “You get a question, then I get a question.” Kind of like the trade-off in truth or date.
Delivered correctly, this will often redirect the conversation, and the shit test will be forgotten. Tonight, one of the friends wanted to know my age, and I gave some variant of my favorite shit answer (“old enough to know better but young enough not to care”). This, along with some other stuff, got her riled, but I actually did pretty well by treating her like a puppy. When she called me condescending I just shrugged, nodded, and smiled a little. At some point she gave me some bullshit again and I pulled another favorite line that I’ve been tinkering with over the past couple years, “What can I say? I’m used to giving people orders.”
It leads either to a subject change or a great set of follow-ups. It’s also somewhat true in my case. I wish I hadn’t fallen for so many shit tests in high school and college, but back then no one openly discussed them and there was no “game” like there is now.
I see that Tom Torero has a podcast about shit tests as well. Probably a good listen for anyone with shit tests as a sticking point. I’m not that good at them most of the time, but I am very good at being non-reactive (a side effect of not being good at neutrality when I was younger and would rise to the bait).