When someone asks “What way?” answer “The usual way”

When, "Which candidate?" say, "The usual one." There is no reason for you to derail a perfectly happy speaker when they are going happily on their way! I mean literally say the usual one, the usual way when asked these questions. Keep them going on their way and you keep going on yours when invited to a conversation like this

When needed, say, “I don’t feel like arguing with you.” I wasn’t put on this planet to argue with any particular person. Also, I see myself as having the upper hand in the vast majority of conversations, so I don’t need to argue with anyone

When people are operating out of fear, don’t give them more to fear—comfort them. “I just want to be with my GF. I don’t care about [any of your] politics.” Appeal to a feeling more critical than hate. Oh yeah—love, sex—we get that. You have replied acceptably. We will leave you alone

I’m always on the same side as the person. We’re looking at it together! This is the master technique because it's true. It's true! We are on the same side. Whatever the problem is, we are looking at it together. I see what you see. You see what I see. There are always grounds for inclusion (in which we see how we're the same as each other)—there are always grounds for exclusion (in which we see how we, together, are different than it, than that). If you look at any problem, though, it will become clear that we, people are on the same side and we are looking at the problem, arms around each other's shoulders, together

“To each their own.” I used to live by this. I still do, but it means more to me now. What anyone else does has nothing to do with me (let’s say). Let's say that each person's reality is their own. It is no longer my job to save or be saved by people. To each, their own damnation and salvation—or whatever model you're using. What goes for you goes for you, and I walk very largely around that with something even more standoffish than respect

Finally (and especially important for smart people whose unusual beliefs are enough to get us in trouble): Play dumb. Say, “I don’t know enough about that subject to comment.” And then say nothing. “I don’t understand. Are you looking for someone to teach, to fight with? I’m neither.”