How do you handle inappropriate conversations?

When you find yourself in a room with friends who are talking about morally inappropriate things what do you do? Is it sinful to just sit and listen and not say anything at all?

It depends on what they are talking about. If they are talking about causing harm, I would do something. If they are talking about things that do not cause harm, I would just give them their freedom of speech.

One of the girls was talking about how she thinks prostitution should be legalized, they started talking about a pornographic website, and the pulled up an ad for a sex toy that one of them had seen. When she tried to show me, I looked away and told her I had no need for that in my life. I kind of made it sound like a joke, but I was able to avoid looking at it. I was just incredibly disgusted by the whole thing. When I finally left the room, all I could think was that I should’ve left sooner.

I would just let them have freedom of speech. It is best not to be fascist-like.

That’s what I was thinking while I was sitting there. Thanks for the suggestion!

Right. Pretty much, excuse yourself from the conversation. They have the right to talk about whatever they want, but you also have the right not to have to be forced to listen. And if you’re a study group for a class or whatever, just ask them politely to stay focused on the class project. They’ll have time to socialize later.

I think your saying politely that I don’t need that in my life was a good way of handling it.

The phrase,“to each his own” works wonders in situations like that.

I’ve got to start using this!

When this happens I am offended and make sure I don’t join this group again. I haven’t though told them what I think though, because I wouldn’t like the conflict–just what I personally do.

That’s a great question, I struggle with that sometimes too. It’s a tough situation. I think the worst thing to do is smile or laugh and nod, as if you approve. Honestly, I think you already did a great thing by saying you don’t need that in your life, looking away, then eventually walking away… that’s awesome! This is something you couldn’t have seen coming. I don’t see any sin in what you did, it sounds like you did a good job of letting them know that you’re on a different page,….you could also say a quick prayer while walking away like “God bless them”.

You could ask them some “why” questions – why do you think prostitution should be legal, why are you looking at sex toys….which would lead to more questions and get them thinking a little bit. But that’s a judgment call…some people won’t listen and it could put you in a vulnerable spot.

Just a thought–If for whatever reason you can’t leave, you could pray silently. Pray over what is happening, pray for them.

What’s wrong with saying, “That’s disgusting.”?
Sometimes people need to know that not everyone approves of that kind of thing. It’s not something that people in polite society would bring up.

.

Agreed. People are so careful to not even suggest that filthy conversations could be offensive to them.

I would have left the group sooner. An excuse of some sort and out the door.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.