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Thursday, December 10, 2015

You can't win an argument - Lacy Muircastle reporting ...

Last week I experienced an extremely disappointing situation.  Being non-confrontationally inclined, my reaction was to back off from what could have turned into an extremely heated and emotionally charged argument.  If the person had taken the time to understand me they would have known that when my feelings are hurt I prefer to postpone talking about it until I can be calmer.  But said other party decided that I had not given them a chance to voice their side of the story and that I had chosen to believe the third party.  As a result I lost a friend.

Subsequently I came across a blog post by Bryn Donovan which struck a chord.  The headline was, Is Arguing Ever Really Worth It?

Dale Carnegie, he of “How to win friends and influence people" claims that it’s pointless to criticise anyone for anything and in a later chapter makes the statement “You Can’t Win an Argument”.

It seems though, that people generally love an argument and all the drama it brings with it.  Maybe it makes them feel alive.  We all get upset about things at one time or another, that’s only natural, but ranting about it in whatever forum only causes negativity and what is actually achieved in the long run?

How many times has a situation like this occurred to you in SL or on Facebook?  You get into personal arguments because you’re defending someone else. It goes like this:

1. Your FB friend posts something.
2. One of their FB friends says something derogatory about this post.
3. You show up and tell their FB friend that they’re being mean.

Wouldn’t a better way to handle it, though, be this?

1. Your FB friend posts something.
2. One of their FB friends says something derogatory about this post.
3. Ignoring the other person, you tell your FB friend their post is awesome.

There are of course a few situations in which it still makes sense to confront a person directly. If someone around you says something racist, for instance, then call them on it (even if she’s a stranger in the locker room.) In a situation like this, you only have two choices.  You can make it seem like it’s fine and normal to say such things, or you can make it clear that it’s unacceptable.

But about 99% of the time, avoiding outright arguments is the way to go. Persuasion is fine, but fighting just makes everyone feel bad.

What do you think? How do you deal with arguing, online, inworld and in real life?


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