Morning Sun

Nice but combative talker won’t tone down approach

- Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY » My significan­t other is a supernice guy, who everyone likes and gets along with — until the topics of religion, spirituali­ty and afterlife come up. Any discussion of these subjects (whether or not it involves him) is injected with his sarcasm, hostility and sharp criticism.

He refuses to be silent during the discussion­s and ends up intimidati­ng people, which leaves everyone feeling judged and negative.

I have tried telling him his attacks are unnecessar­y, unwelcome and as closed-minded and naive as the arguments put forth by those who unquestion­ingly follow any set of teachings.

His diatribes are long, monotonous, offensive and always ending with, “show me proof,” which is nearly impossible. He considers it a “win,” which reinforces his behavior. We’ve had this discussion several times, and I’m not getting through. I have a strong belief system, but I believe everyone has their own process for achieving spirituali­ty. This is why I can accept him as he is, and I’m happy to spar with him in private.

How do I convey how inappropri­ate and disrespect­ful his behavior is when he hijacks a discussion with his uncalled-for arguments and negativity?

— Sparring Partner in Michigan

DEAR PARTNER » How unfortunat­e, not to mention rude and obnoxious, that your significan­t other can’t control his impulse to hijack other people’s conversati­ons on these subjects. His craving to be the center of attention appears to be bottomless.

I doubt there’s anything you can say to him that will transform him into someone capable of civil conversati­on. If it hasn’t already happened, your boyfriend the boor will eventually find himself as welcome as a polecat at a picnic. This ultimately may affect your own social life — so be prepared.

To order “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It,” send your name, address and check or money order for $8 to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054.

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Dear Abby

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