My best friend is obsessing over Game of Thrones. Now that the end is in sight, she is constantly harassing me with the latest predictions, theories, and ruminations over her favorite characters. I like Game of Thrones too, but I don’t need to be thinking about it 24/7. It may be a cultural phenomenon but at the end of the day, it is still only a TV show.
How can I maintain this friendship without hurting her feelings when she wants to talk non-stop about Game of Thrones and I do not?
“Stark Raven Crazy”
Have you considered a nice, spell-woven ice wall? I hear this is very effective unless…your friend is a Night Queen riding her own ice dragon!
Seriously, this is not a time for walls. It is a time for compromise and perhaps a little structure for your friend to hold onto as she returns to the land of no more TV GOT. Remember, she has likely invested ten years of passion (and possibly more if she is a book reader) into this world. It is going to be a difficult transition for many because it has offered such a compelling, immersive distraction from the real world.
Meet her halfway. Prepare your own list of three (or less) GOT predictions, theories and invite her to analyze and discuss. Then listen to the same number of her predictions, etc. When you are tired of this, be forthright and tell her sincerely:
“I’m glad we got to discuss this, and I am going to ponder all of this. Right now I want to change the subject to [insert subject] because I value your insight and this is something with which I need real-world help.”
If she tries to switch the conversation back to GOT then politely and firmly, tell her that you are limiting your GOT discussions because you do not want to ruin your viewing experience by having too much information. “We have been friends for so long that I am confident in sharing with you that sometimes I worry that when I have too much information my viewing experience is undermined.” This approach keeps the focus on you and no blame on her.
You are in charge of what you want to talk about, just as she is in charge of what she wants to talk about. If you two cannot agree or cannot compromise, then you both do not have anything to talk about and it is time to say good bye. Valor Morghulis.
The Everyday DiplomatTM