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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ineffective Arguing

It's hard to convince someone of something, if they don't want to listen in the first place. They'll say, try to convince me, but once you start talking, they metaphorically shut their ears and go 'la. la, la, I can't hear you!' But part of the problem is that they are denying that they are shutting thier ears in the first place, claiming that they are 'open-minded' and are 'un-biased'. Yeah, right. If I know that you do not want to hear what I have to say, and I know that shoving my ideas down your throat are going to push you farther away, why even open my big mouth? Try arguing with someone who feels they are absolutely in the right, and NOTHING you will say will change their mind. Maybe over time, as life passes, they'll realize that it was not as they thought, or they'll continue believing that they are right. Changing people is difficult, and the first step must always be, that the person themself wants to change, and wants to be convinced. Otherwise, you might as well be banging your head against a brick wall for all the good you do. It's incredibly hard to just stand by and watch someone you care about ruin thier life, but if they don't see it, if they keep denying it, there is nothing you can do. And one of the worst feelings in the world is just standing by, knowing you're absolutely helpless.

9 comments:

EndOfWorld said...

I should link to this post every time someone starts a "discussion" online.

That's why I hate these online arguments. Show me someone who's changed their mind from an online discussion, and I'll show you someone....who probably thought along those lines in the first place.

Moshe said...

I've always considered violence a great motivator to show the other person the error of his ways.

Mikeinmidwood said...

I love people who say their opened minded but wont listen to people who are "closed" minded. in the end nnoone is really opened minded.

MAK said...

EOW: Yeah, no one actually changes thier mind from those discussions. Actually, from what I've seen, it generally makes them cling to thier views harder in defence. People don't like admitting they are wrong.
Moshe: You'd get along great with my brother, he has the same view. I don't think that violence ever solves anything, even if I does make you feel better. And I feel that applies on the full scale, from two people arguing, to two nations. Look at the World Wars, they solved nada.
Mike: You're right, Everyone is biased, we are all influenced by how we were brought up. The only way not to be biased is if you're a machine.

Moshe said...

The problem with the world wars is that it was 2 people arguing but 1000s fighting. If 2 rulers want to argue about something, let them either fight themselves or designate a single representative each.

MAK said...

While that would be amusing to see, as well as sensible, it is unfortunately not the case. You have rulers, they have armies, and when they disagree, they go to war. It's the way of the world. Has been for centuries. And unless we find a way to completely change human nature, that's the way it will be for centuries more.

EndOfWorld said...

The real reason why most people can open-mindedly discuss something and have the attitude of "live and let live," is because they arent being personally affected by the choice that the other person is making. I can calmly sit by and hear someone talk about how they don't believe Gd exists, but if it were someone who was very close to me-I doubt I would be able to sit quietly and accept it.

rickismom said...

It takes a certain amount of maturity to accept that not everyone will think like you, and that you can not force people, even those whom you deeply love, to make the choices, that for you are foregone conclusions.
I am chareidi, So are half of my children. The other half are not. I grew to see that loving them and caring for them is not condoning things I don't agree with.(And they know that too!)
And when people have dependency or personality problems, or the like, you have to let them learn the hard way sometimes.

EndOfWorld said...

RikisMom: Wow. That's a pretty awesome attitude. Most people are so personally invested in their children (for good reason) that they have a hard time stepping back. Someone once said (in regard to children's level of frumnesss) that our job isnt to be Gd's policeman-our job is to be parents to our children.