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I live in a place where there's quite a lot of convulsion in terms of independency of the country. My ideas don't really care, but in the office there are both sides, and the verbal fights are close to punches.

The thing is that last week we had a lunch with very few people, and the topic appeared. It came from the boss. He decided to unilaterally start talking about the topic, sharing his point of view, and when some people faced that point of view, he said "ok, one by one, for or against and why?". Even if it was a lunch, it was with company people. When it was my turn, I said "sorry, I don't feel comfortable talking about this". Somebody said something, but then the boss insisted, so I said "look, I'm not saying anything". The rest of the people were anyway sharing their position, and so the "fight" took about 2 hours. We only have 1 for lunch, so well, very unprofessional.

Today, there was another lunch. This time the whole office joined, but a group of people was stuffed in a corner, and it happened to be me, the boss and some more people from the other day. The boss, out of nothing, told another person "Make sure they don't talk about independency", raising the topic again, this time with new blood joining the fight.

I decided to leave and work. I assume this may be seen as antisocial, rude or anything, but I feel like this shouldn't be a topic to talk at work, especially if it's causing the conversation to turn into a fight of shouts.

Anyway, for the next time, was leaving the best thing to do, or should I have stayed and done anything else?

PS: I'm quite sure I can't complain to HR, because it was raised by the boss, and the HR joined the fight.

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    Catalonia, by any chance? – AakashM Sep 21 '17 at 12:38
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    I'm not going to disclose it. But yes – Korcholis Sep 21 '17 at 12:46
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    "It may be seen as antisocial, rude..." - it should be seen as professional. Sorry you're in that position, where your boss and HR are asking you to act this way. FYI - I'm extremely opinionated on those kinds of topics, and not afraid to share, but I appreciate that most others might not be, especially in a work-related setting. – PoloHoleSet Sep 21 '17 at 13:51
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    @PoloHoleSet It's pretty important that people keep out of the business stuff that's none of their business (heh!). One surely can share his opinion, although the perception of others might change, and that's not for the better in every case. Thanks – Korcholis Sep 21 '17 at 15:41
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    @Dukeling I understand. Since it was not only in terms of topic changing but also it involved an office environment, I thought about workplace as a better place – Korcholis Sep 22 '17 at 7:22
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There are a few delicate topics that are better left out of the office altogether, like politics, religion, gender issues, and more in general all things someone may ave a strong idea about.

If you fail to divert the discussion to another topic, the best option is almost always leaving.

You handled the situation correctly, however it seems that your manager is promoting this kind of "toxic" conversation topics almost intentionally, and this behavior may result into problems later on.
Next time the conversation seems to switch to politics, try to discretely move out before it breaks into a fight.
Even refusing to speak might convince your manager that your ideas differ from his, so it would be better to stay out of this altogether.

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    I almost suggested that he state "Yes! I agree!" with each and every person, no matter what side they take, but that advice would be less than helpful. – PoloHoleSet Sep 21 '17 at 13:53
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was leaving the best thing to do, or should I have stayed and done anything else?

IMO, leaving was the best thing to do. Like you, I try to stay away from office conflicts and politics. I find it very distracting to the workplace and often times shines a different light on those who do participate in such a situation. By leaving, you are not being rude, you just prefer to keep your personal opinions personal.

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The thing is that last week we had a lunch with very few people, and the topic appeared. It came from the boss. He decided to unilaterally start talking about the topic, sharing his point of view, and when some people faced that point of view, he said "ok, one by one, for or against and why?".

That was very unprofessional from your boss, and you did very well staying out of it, including leaving. This way you keep your privacy and your health. In my opinion your boss might be cultivating a toxic work environment with his behaviour, and if I'm right, I think you should at least update your cv and keep an eye on the job market.

Once talking about this very subject, an aquitance told me that he doesn't have an opinion about this issue, but that he respects mine. With this I was more than satisfied, but this was also before 2010, when things wheren't as heated as now.

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