As a human being I love to be right. Getting the upper-hand in an argument feels amazing. When someone tells you definitively that “Conversate” is a word, and you smack them with the google knowledge that NO IT ISN’T STOP USING IT.
It feels good.
Arguments happen in life, and while i’d like to say that arguments generally have someone who is right and someone who is wrong; it generally isn’t like that. An argument happens when two people of opposing views disagree with each other about those views. No longer is it about the correct spelling of a word, or which Spiderman movie is the best (if you say Amazing Spiderman is the best I will disown you.)
In most cases though, it does seem like two people trying to prove the other wrong. When that just isn’t what should be happening. People don’t like to be wrong. So in a matter of opinion, no matter how good your argument is; most of the time you’re not going to get someone else to admit that their opinion is less valid than yours. (Trust me, I’ve tried.)
So? What’s the point in even giving your opinion and starting a discussion with someone? Why talk about something that’s going to rub people the wrong way? Well, in my OPINION, there’s lots of reasons.
The Socratic Method: Asking Why.
Why does this person that you are communicating with think the way they do. Do you actually understand what they are trying to say? If so, try. There is no point in arguing if you are not reasonable enough to respect the other person enough to listen to their point of view, and try to understand where they’re coming from. You don’t have to agree with someone in order to have a meaningful and productive conversation.
Arguments should be viewed as something productive and fun. Not something to avoid. One reason why this is difficult is because generally you are disagreeing on a topic that is very important to you, and it upsets you that someone is confronting you about your beliefs. This is understandable; especially when it comes to politics and ideologies that are foundational to your beliefs.
This comes back to your approach, though. It’s easier to become upset about something when you are trying to prove a point, rather than understand where the other person is coming from. If you are trying to understand the other person, and make yourself understood, it opens up a lot more opportunity for discussion.
It’s only possible to have this type of conversation with someone who is going to give you the respect to try to do the same. Which is difficult. Like I said, most people are going to want to prove you wrong rather than have a meaningful conversation.
If you’re the type of person who likes to argue to have a meaningful conversation, and not just to prove a point, these are the types of people to avoid
People who get offended easily: It’s kind of hard to avoid offending people these days, but an argument is not for people who think with their feelings. If the fact that you disagree with someone sets them off, probably don’t engage them. (Though if you still think Amazing Spiderman is the best one you will irrationally set me off.)
Avoid people with stupid opinions: This is a double-sided coin. A profitable argument requires mutual respect, and if you don’t respect the other person because you think their opinions are just dumb, why have a conversation with them? Unless they look up to you and will actually listen to your advice, don’t cause problems. Plus, maybe you should try to understand their point of view better. Maybe they don’t have a stupid opinion, maybe you just don’t understand where they’re coming from. (Amazing Spiderman doesn’t count. You’re literally dead to me if you think that. Literally. Not hyperbole.)
When you have arguments, it needs to be an exchange of ideas, not a contest. It needs to be respectful, as well as logical. It’s good for you to have your beliefs challenged. It strengthens them, as well as shows you where you might have room to grow and change as well. Don’t become so cemented in your beliefs that you aren’t willing to learn something new from someone you don’t agree with.
The main point of this blog is that Amazing Spiderman 1 & 2 are stupid movies.