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The Chicken-in-the-Middle Situation
What's going on: One of your friends is a huge fan of online dating. The other isn't. Over dinner, they begin a 30-minute-long impassioned debate (read: fight) about the pros and cons, ending with a question for you: "What do you think?"

What not to say: "I think...what I really want is more wine." Yes, it's annoying that your pals are arguing, but people fall into discussions (read: fights) about everything from dating to gun control to genetically modified food. Evasions—be it a change in subject, a trip to the bathroom or a blank, panicked smile—only make your friends feel not listened to, and you seem wishy-washy.

What to say: "I think online dating works for people who know specifically what they want in a partner and don't feel comfortable talking to strangers. For other people, like me, who prefer serendipity and random chatting, going out to parties can be much better." Whether or not you choose to express your opinion (the "like me" is optional), McGowan explains, you're giving everybody "a partial win"—allowing them to feel good, while putting a polite end to the conversation. The secret requirement: very careful listening...for the duration of the battle.