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hurtloam
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04 Feb 2014, 8:51 am

I always get stuck when I'm trying to make a point and someone replies with: "But what does it matter?"

I'm not giving an example because it will just turn into a debate about that subject.

What the person really means is, "this doesn't matter to me. I think you are stupid. Stop talking."

Or do they mean that?


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EzraS
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04 Feb 2014, 8:58 am

it could mean that the situation itself doesn't matter. Like dont worry about it, it doesn't matter.
Like if i wrote i was upset because a couple of strangers sitting across from us at a restaurant were looking at me and snickering. Someone might write 'what does it matter?' Like who cares what they think.



hurtloam
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04 Feb 2014, 9:01 am

I mean for more serious things than that. Like how I live my life, my political views etc.


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franknfurter
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04 Feb 2014, 10:43 am

it might be a question, so maybe the person wants to see what you can say to back up your view, the person might be genuinely curious and wants you to explain. or it could be a dismissive statement, like they don't care about that political statement or opinion.



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04 Feb 2014, 1:04 pm

hurtloam wrote:
Like how I live my life, my political views etc.


People generally say "What does it matter?" when they don't see the point of what you're saying. They don't understand why you care so deeply, and either want you to explain why you feel they way you do, or to simply end the conversation by pointing out how little is effected by caring about a thing as much as you do.

It can be impossible to tell which they mean, so ask them to clarify. Ask them if they really want to know why you feel how you feel, or if they just want to end the conversation and talk about something else.

If it's the first one, see if you can't think about why you feel how you feel, and articulate that to them. If it's the second, think of something else to talk about.



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04 Feb 2014, 1:05 pm

There's just no way to answer without context. I know you don't want the thread to be about the discussion itself, but if you want a real answer we need to know.


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04 Feb 2014, 2:47 pm

It means: "What's important to you is irrelevant to me because your opinions and feelings are meaningless. I'm important and you're a nattering fool, so shut up and get out of my way"



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04 Feb 2014, 3:03 pm

The root of the problem is that it makes you feel bad. The way you can counter that is to say: "Well, it matters to me."



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04 Feb 2014, 3:18 pm

Could you not ask them what they mean by what they say?

If someone says to me; "I'm not interested" (as gets said to me a lot), I just casually say to them "if you don't mind me asking, I'm just curious to know what I'm not interested actually means"

I usually get a proper answer then. It works a treat.


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04 Feb 2014, 10:06 pm

hurtloam wrote:
I always get stuck when I'm trying to make a point and someone replies with: "But what does it matter?"

I'm not giving an example because it will just turn into a debate about that subject.

What the person really means is, "this doesn't matter to me. I think you are stupid. Stop talking."

Or do they mean that?


The wording I would use is, "I don't understand how what you are saying is relevant and this annoys me."



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04 Feb 2014, 11:08 pm

hurtloam wrote:
I mean for more serious things than that. Like how I live my life, my political views etc.


They're telling you that they're not interested in it, that they don't want to talk about it or hear it, and are hoping that you'll take a hint, without realizing that autistic people often can't take a hint. What they want to try to avoid is telling you to shut the hell up. :wink:


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hurtloam
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05 Feb 2014, 6:40 am

Ok, I've thought of an example. Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "political" that was way off what I meant. This is usually in discussions with family.

Say I'm trying to explain to someone that the way a person dresses for work sends a message to other people, say they are cold calling local businesses to advertise services from their own business or to hand out flyers, it would be better to dress smart/casual rather than wear really old jeans, falling apart sneakers and a scruffy t-shirt. Family member says, "but what does it matter what I wear?" Deep down I actually agree that it shouldn't matter. People should be treated equal regardless of what they wear so I stop talking and think, well it doesn't matter, but it does to some people, even though it is shallow and stupid, so my adive is correct because people will judge the person even though what they look like actually has no bearing on their work skills and the service they are advertising, however in reality it matters.

Things like this go round my head and I get stuck in a loop.


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09 Feb 2014, 9:11 am

The response "What does it matter" means different things in different English-speaking cultures and in different contexts.

From the example you provided above, this sounds like an actual literal question, as in "Why does what I wear matter?". I often have to explain why things like that make a difference, and it's a hard concept to transmit and for the listener to understand.

One piece of advice I would give you is showing examples. Point out that people are more willing to pay for something from someone dressed in "business wear" than a torn music band T-shirt. For many people, both visual and verbal learners, examples work much better than the rest of the explanation.


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