Headstrong

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”

use

Sometimes it’s hard for me to just let things go. For a while I had a hard time with getting into long discussions on Facebook, concerning issues I have very strong opinions about. Opinions I feel the need to defend. However, it led to severe frustration and I started to become somewhat of a misanthrope. I didn’t want to become that sort of person and ended up deleting Facebook for a few months. This wasn’t very hard, as I had been considering doing so for the longest time.

Facebook is a huge waste of time and has brought me a whole lot of sorrow. Ultimately (rather recently) I decided to delete my account completely and make a new one. That way, I would only have people on my friends list that I actually know and care to talk to. Evidently, this number is much bigger than I had anticipated, but I digress. I also just wanted things to be easier for my friends when it came to events. I didn’t want them to have to keep contacting me separately in order to make sure I was in the loop, as they had been doing.

In any case, I came to a disagreement with someone on Facebook yet again, and felt the nagging urge to prove my point. However I knew I should just let it be as soon as possible. People are headstrong and will keep arguing until the minutest, most obscure points are being thrown in the air. My only hope, when I do state my opinion, is not that I will change the opinion of the person I am discussing the issue with. I know that is going to be near impossible. People who are on the defensive are going to do anything but surrender; it’s just the way things are.

My hope is that my opinions and statements make onlookers think about the issue in their spare time. I want to open minds and shed light on issues that I believe are important. You can’t bring awareness to an issue without discussing it. You can’t change perspective if you don’t speak up. And even if in the moment, the person you are discussing things with is so against you in every way, they may reflect back in their spare time when things are less heated and become open to your views. They may gain more from it than you’ll ever know.

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

This is why I will always speak up, even if I’m just saying one thing. It’s not worth it to carry on endless conversations that become ambiguous and full of anger. There is a point where you need to stop. But just getting your perspective out and in the open is imperative and may lead to significant positive change.

In my experience, it’s vital to keep a few things in mind when doing this:

  1. When stating your opinion do it in the most direct, concise, and non-aggressive way possible.
  2. Do not get caught up in the assumptions people are going to make about you. People like to think they know you based off of whatever you’re arguing about. Assumptions will happen and they will be horribly annoying; they are distractions.
  3. Do not swear or use phrases that can be taken as an attack. Those include things like “are you kidding me?” or “clearly you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Phrases like this and foul words are only going to weaken your argument and are less likely to produce positive reactions.
  4. Keep focus on the big picture. The opposing party may conjure up the most obscure arguments possible, but be sure not to get caught up in the minute details.
  5. Do not be afraid to agree with something they say. It doesn’t mean you’re submitting to their standpoint. It just means you’re open and willing to accept new angles. Just be sure to remain true to number 1 in this list.
  6. Do not get too emotionally invested. You’re standing up for something you whole-heartedly believe in, so it will be very difficult. Nevertheless, you must not adopt the view that others are attacking your identity – the are merely defending their own, which is their right just as much as it is yours.
  7. You are not the only voice who wishes to be heard. Respect that fact.
  8. In most cases, it is not the other person’s aim to cause harm. If they are standing up for something, they are doing it in a way they think makes sense. As much as you may disagree, they have the right to expression. It is only in this way that you can learn and gain from other people.
  9. You are not obligated to answer right away – take your time, if you need to. There are more important things than online arguments/discussions.
  10. Stop before things get too misconstrued and complicated. Just make your point and move on!

I am still struggling with a few things on this list, but I am slowly learning to change my habits for the better. I need to keep in mind that I have this blog for the sole purpose of sharing my own views. I don’t have to resort to feeling frustrated by Facebook (or other social mediums) arguments, because I can move the discussion to my own personal – but still available to the public eye – place.

As much as I want to teach other people, I know I have so much to gain from them.

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”

einsten

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~ by Moonstruck on May 4, 2013.

One Response to “Headstrong”

  1. […] Headstrong (moonstruckmicrocosm.wordpress.com) […]

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