Having a discussion with someone gets heated, and then it gets personal. There has to be a better way to share your ideas and find the balance so that both of you remain respectful.
Often you argue about something where your goal is to prove yourself right. To an extent, you believe you are right, and the other person is wrong. This approach will make you feel like you are doing the best debate, but in reality, you are feeding your bias.
Take a step back to understand what another person is saying because even though you don’t believe their words, there might be something useful for you.
Also, keeping an open mind will help you navigate through the reasonings for an alternate belief and ideology. And the whole point of the discussion should be to understand, take notes on how to go about their belief and be willing to change.
Think of the scenario where – you are arguing hard so that the other person abandons their belief and surrender to your idea. But are you willing to do the same if she can provide with reasoning you are satisfied with? If you are not willing to embrace a 180-degree idea, then you shouldn’t expect the other party to do the same.
The Fight Is Personal
The party is going good, and you are talking about a football match. Ever wondered why the sports discussion often sparks. The reason is that you are not emotionally attached to the sport. Sure there are exceptions to this rule like there are exceptions in everything.
But try to have a discussion on politics, religion, or what is morally right, and you will find yourself in the fire.
Everyone wants to put their point, and no one is listening. You are waiting so that she can finish her argument and you can start yours.
The whole idea of discussion, understanding, and being open goes out of the window. And all you are left with is a sticky feeling that the argument has got heated and it will explode.
After some time, there will be fewer words spoken because everyone has put their voice. None has been heard though. Who is the winner? The decade of education has trained you to find a winner in everything. The learning isn’t the goal, winning is. So all of you see each other and realize there isn’t anything sensible remaining to speak.
Also, you have already tried raising the voice to another decibel. But someone is always willing to raise the bar. And now the personal attack starts.
When you are out of words, the personal attack is the easiest thing to demean and feel like you have won. So you make someone feel small, and others jump in too. Slowly it is a race to who can belittle the others the most. And after about 5 minutes of rambling, when you all come to the senses, you realize the damage is already done.
The Better Approach
Reading is the best way to equip yourself with the knowledge you don’t know. Also, pondering over it and having a discussion with your peers helps a lot.
Second is knowing that not everything in life has to be won. Take the example of arguing with your parents about the best insurance. They have their beliefs spread over the last 60 years, and they don’t have the knowledge of the new technology.
So instead of making them feel small for their actions or sticking with their preferred plan, you can let the matter go. And embrace them because your time spent with them is precious than winning on taking the best decision.
Also, you can agree that you too don’t make the best of decisions all the time. So you can have some belief which is wrong in the current sense, but you can’t see it yet.
Hence, it is better to view every discussion as an opportunity to learn about the other side, understand and then make an informed decision.
Stop Right There
And there are some discussions you are better not indulging in. For example, if you see your friends arguing about religion, then it is better to avoid the scene or keep mum. Because people are too sticky for religion and often no one is ready to engage.
In overall, time is wasted, and sometimes the personal scar remains for the longest time. Avoid this at all cost.
Remember, sure you might be right and feel bad that you need to entertain the wrong side. But you might very well be wrong too. Be open and rational about your approach and decisions.