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Mimishu1995's avatar

What does "stir the pot" mean?

Asked by Mimishu1995 (14755points) May 14th, 2014

From a comment I saw earlier.

Apparently some jellies think someone who “stirs the pot” is annoying. But if so, what does “stir the pot” mean? Can you define “stir the pot”? Is it another kind of trolling?

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24 Answers

ucme's avatar

Shit stirring trouble making no life boring bastard, some jellies are born that way

rojo's avatar

@ucme is correct, on both points.

dxs's avatar

When you stir the pot, the stuff you meant to leave at the bottom resurfaces and as a result everything turns into a mixed chaos.

janbb's avatar

“Stir the pot” is a colloquialism for for starting a fight.

cookieman's avatar

“causing trouble”
“starting a fight”
“being a instigator”

It’s not a positive thing.

josie's avatar

I have an opinion about this, for what it is worth.

The way I see it, Fluther clearly has a predominant culture, with an established set of principles that determine whether or not you are a “true” Jelly, or a bothersome pretender, a troll, or worse.

Adhering to these principles by and large seems to mean that you are politically correct, that you think global warming would never have happened if humans had simply remained speechless primates, that you think that wealth is a zero sum game, that you think the current president is not just another self-aggrandizing politician, that people of the Christian faith are sort of provincial morons (other faith based religions seem to be OK however) etc. etc.

It also means that you should ask questions because you need a particular answer. I believe a lot of people think it is mildly to severely inappropriate to ask questions that challenge the doctrine, or to simply to see how people will answer, and to get a lively debate going in a thread.

This is what I think they mean by “stirring the pot”.

I used to love to “stir the pot”. The problem is, as time has gone by, all the people who enjoy stirring the pot, or who got a kick out those who do, have quit or gone missing. Too much of what is left is the process of reinforcing group-think, dream interpretation, and how deal with such abominations as rude people and disapproving parents. Not as much fun as it used to be, in my opinion.

And the sun will come up tomorrow.

ucme's avatar

^^ Nowt wrong with playing devil’s advocate, often, the dissenting voice can bring energy to an even tempered debate, works well, brings balance.
The shit stirrers I refer to are those that post with an obvious agenda, the self righteous, negative monkeys. Thankfully, most of those have scattered to the winds too, good riddance.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I agree with @josie.

Also, @dxs‘s description of the phrase “stir the pot” is accurate. It is taken by some to mean “pick a fight,” but in truth it simply means to bring to the surface things that people have been letting lie at the bottom of the pot. The things at the bottom of the pot are always there, they are just being ignored until someone stirs.

People’s opinions clearly vary when it comes to determining which approach is more healthy – letting the things most people don’t want to think about sink to the bottom where we can’t see them, or making sure that the contents of the pot stay stirred. Usually in cooking… it’s better to have a well-stirred pot containing a homogeneous mixture that doesn’t burn or allow pools to congeal at the top. I think most therapists would also advocate not letting the gross stuff sit buried and forgotten. I think it’s healthier for Fluther to have a good mix of ideas and to not fear bringing up certain topics.

josie's avatar

Correction to above. Not ALL the pot stirrers are gone. But enough are gone that there is not much of a counter weight to the all too often subjective Fluther Filosophy.

Cruiser's avatar

Stirring the pot is not leaving well enough alone and continuing to address someone in an aggressive and or antagonistic way. Pot stirrers would rather get a rise out of their victims than simply walk away. People who are not directly involved in said conversation who chime in with their 2 cents are another example of stirring the pot.

cookieman's avatar

@josie: I don’t agree with any of the Fluther beliefs you mention early in the post, yet I consider myself a “true jelly” (whatever the hell that means).

I also consider you one.


You may be off base.

rojo's avatar

@cookieman He was just stirring the pot a little

Unbroken's avatar

I’m a pot stirrer in real life. There are times to challenge the status quo and there are times when it can be fun. Challenging people’s ideas. Getting a bit of a rise. Giving people even if they are just the observer’s another perspective allowing them to see multiple opinions. It is much harder to do online. Because of the misinterpretation, personal history and the tendency for people to jump on one band wagon or the other and circle in close. Still it is possible to do. Especially if you can be a little subtle about it. Or strongly believe in the position you took.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Some times that guy (@josie) is so spot on it makes the hairs on my neck stand up.

I would say ”stir the pot” should mean to mix things up so that the same stagnant course, thoughts, process, etc. has some new or different direction. However, if that direction goes afoul of the masses, then they believe it is starting crap or picking a fight just to be picking one; especially if it is against one of their sacred cows or an issue they can’t truly defend.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Stirring the pot has always meant that the pot stirrer was looking for a fight. It evolved to stirring the shit.
It probably should mean many other things, but that is the only definition to which I have ever been privy.

Unbroken's avatar

haha, privy too….

Paradox25's avatar

It basically means causing some type of controversy, and this can be either good or bad depending on the circumstances. A good example could be causing a commotion on a white supremacy thread, or doing something at work to make life a bit miserable for a bunch of cut throats. Some people stir the pot just for the sake of causing trouble, but at other times people do it as a way to stand up for what they feel is right.

KNOWITALL's avatar

TO me, it’s being controversial, mixing things up, being different. Conformity is overrated.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@KNOWITALL has it right. Sometimes a dull boring pot could use a little stirring. The trick is to grow a skin thick enough to weather the consequences from those easily offended.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@stanleybmanly In summary: grow a thick skin before you enter Fluther…

Paradox25's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Fluther is mild compared to some sites, but tough when compared to others I’ve been on.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Mimishu1995 I agree that fluther is a relatively polite and civil forum, and a thick skin isn’t usually essential in order to participate.

Paradox25's avatar

@josie I don’t think it’s politics itself that truly divides people on here, because there are conservatives and libertarians that seem to do fairly well on here. I do think you’re on to something about political correctness though, which in my opinion is a completely different issue. There are those key issues that if one treads on that territory you will probably feel the bite. I’ve touched on several of these with my own questions and responses so I’m reasonably certain what those issues are, and I didn’t touch on all of these yet, but maybe I will in the near future.

This is a smaller website too when compared to others, so I think there’s also a degree of cliquishness here, where people simply respond in a way that connects with others more. Some newer users will come on this site and immediately play the sucking up game (and many times fail anyways), while others will go against the grain. I’m not sure if I’d be a fan of people on here not being honest about their opinions, even when I disagree with them, because I want to know why we disagree with each other, or otherwise I wouldn’t see the point of asking the question to begin with. I’m pretty sure that my stances on here have garnered me a few shadows when I make posts though.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Paradox25 This is a smaller website too when compared to others, so I think there’s also a degree of cliquishness here, where people simply respond in a way that connects with others more.
No…...surely that is a vicious rumor started by those block headed, communist, rebel rousing, liberal, nit wits; that never happens here…...never. ~~

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