The odds are not in your favour. With more than seven billion people on this world means the likelihood of you bumping into an idiot is very high. And once such contact has been made, the chances of such idiots cornering you and forcing their even-more-idiotic opinions upon you are even higher.
You may meet people who fervently believe voting for a rightwing, authoritarian politician is going to result in positive change. You may meet people who tell you how homeopathy can cure cancer. You may meet people who insist your sole purpose in life is to marry, and then procreate, and who will hound you till you do both. You may meet people who will try and brainwash you against intermingling with “those kind of people”. You may meet people who refuse to accept that all of life’s lessons can be found in the Discworld novels. You may meet people who will dismiss the Tracy Chapman version of ‘Words’ in favour of the Boyzone one. You may meet people who are convinced that cinnamon should never be added to chocolate. You may even, if you are extremely unfortunate, meet people who will hold forth on the obvious superiority of Formula 1 over Wimbledon.
You will meet at least one such person in your life. It is inevitable. Now you might initially contemplate refuting, rebutting, and rejecting their theories. Which would be a pointless waste of your time and energy (remember that Shaw quote about wrestling pigs). So do the only thing you can in such an eventuality –
Nod and smile.
Don’t talk, don’t grunt, don’t gesticulate.
A noncommittal slight tip of the head
A neutral stretching of the lips.
Nod. Smile. Nod. Smile.
The idiots eventually go away happy – without trying to punch you – and you end up with less frown-lines. What’s not to like?