So many conversations are about taking opposing positions and persuading others to think about it. And in doing so, an enormous amount of potential is being lost that would not be necessary. Is there another way?
When people talk to each other (often it should be called „talking against each other“) it is all too often a matter of contradicting the other’s statement and taking a counter-position.
Not always, of course, but very often. And if we practice a little self-reflection, we will also notice this trait on ourselves.
Always against it?
The interesting thing is that it is often not so much about the matter itself, but rather about being right. Even if we are only interested in the subject in the margins and we would not meditate on it for hours, it may well happen in discussions that we run away and remain relentless in our position.
What do you think this is?
Well, you could philosophize about it perfectly full-length – and wouldn’t get a green branch. It would be worth thinking, however, that this behaviour should also be based on our social order, which is fundamentally based on competition; that we are thus already so trapped in the „opposite“ that we find rebuttals on any subject even if we agree in principle with the basic consideration of the other.
What may sound a little exaggerated now (it is not entirely obvious; if you want to look at a particular topic in more detail, of course you choose „promising“ arguments to illustrate it better), it is often not at all. We can easily see this by observing ourselves (but of course others) how often in conversations the phrase „Yes, but….“ therefore comes.
Even if we do not contradict our counterpart, we find all too often still a point that we can/want to refute.
It’s not all bad
Of course, this does not mean that a well-maintained discussion and a portrayal of the respective counterposition is basically „bad“ or otherwise negative. Quite the contrary. We are supposed to broaden our horizons if we do not get to know and compare many different perspectives and points of view on a particular subject?
And it should not be a question of always agreeing with the other, even though one disagrees. This would not drive our own development (and that of our environment).
It’s all a matter of measure and goal
As in all other areas of life – both in one’s own and in the social context – it is helpful to find a middle ground in this topic that unites (and reinforces) the positive sides and weakens the less effective „peaks“.
What certainly sounds obvious will be enough in most cases. The rules are not about issues where you go straight to each other just because you disagree.
But sometimes it’s just different….
But when the other person is talking such nonsense!
This becomes „interesting“ or challenging only when what our counterpart gives of itself is absolutely incompatible with our own opinion or attitude.
And depending on the „maturity level“ or „Ability to think for oneself“ of our counterpart, one often has to deal with „arguments“ that take off one’s shoes.
For example, when it comes to the subject of vegan nutrition, one hears all too often the statement that our brain swelled only so much when we have come to the conclusion that one can not only look at the gazelle, but also eat it.
The „problem“ with this statement is that it is, in fact, true; completely ignores the context. That this was the case mainly because at that time there was permanent undersupply and every winter cost a large part of the family’s life. When we came up with a rich source of energy in these times, it was of course a very positive development.
But to ignore this circumstance and to transfer the pure fact 1:1 to today only testifies to the fact that the person did not really deal with the fundamental subject matter, but only peddled something. Otherwise, it should be clear that, in times of enormous oversupply and ‚people’s fattening‘, a plentiful supply of energy is not necessarily what our society needs to survive today!
But this is only one topic, where one encounters statements and points of view, on which one – if one is even a little aware of the „herd instinct“ and among other things. has removed the system media and makes oneself think about the life and the world in which we live – must inevitably ask: „Where is this going to end?“ ;)
The truth/wisdom leased?
And it’s not even about who has „right“! Even t
he one iread is just an opinion – maybe you see it very differently and just think „why am I doing this and reading so weird stuff?“
As with all other „ideas for world-changing“ applies of course: BELIEVE US NO WORD! Think for yourself! Consider whether the one you have just read will find your approval or see it differently. In the end, this is probably(!) the only way to develop oneself (and thus society): by questioning things, comparing them with one’s values and beliefs, and, if necessary, by questioning things. new insights or beliefs.
Talking is silver, silence is gold!
To get back to the subject, we are in a situation where what we have said to us and we disagree with it can often be helpful to abstain from his opponents and simply avoid a discussion about it.
In many cases, it can be much more meaningful and expedient to simply leave the statements of the other standing and not to answer them with a (contrary) opinion. Sometimes it’s just „better“ to be silent!
That doesn’t mean you agree with it or you don’t care! It is much more important to understand what we trigger when we take a counter-position and contradict the other.
Where it leads if you are against it!
We would now like to take a quick look at why this often makes mo
re sense. Because apart from the fact that we don’t always have to be right (how are we supposed to know that? After all, everything is just opinions!), it still has a lot of counterproductive effects if we contradict the other.
So it is quite natural that those whose statements we contradict will continue to defend and defend their position. With every word we put forward (against his statement/thesis/opinion), we give him another opportunity to represent this very view, to seek and find further arguments and to speak himself further and further into his own conviction.
Through our rebuttals, the other is almost forced to consolidate his point of view further and further, by constantly seeking new arguments and thus navigating himself ever deeper into this conviction.
Just by giving him the opportunity to reformulate his point of view, he must think about how he can argue it. As a result, he continues to deal with it, pronounceitititifs it and hears it himself. And all these points contribute to the further firmening of his opinion or conviction and becoming more and more insurmountable as they dig ever deeper into his subconscious. In addition, it always makes him „deaf“ for arguments or statements that may affect the respective topic. from a different point of view.
In doing so, we have already consolidated his conviction enormously – which is pretty much the opposite of what we wanted to achieve with our opponents. And this phenomenon is amplified with every sentence we pronounce. In the end, therefore, we strengthen his position and thus make it more difficult for him to reconsider this position from sentence to sentence and also to be able to look at other points of view objectively.
And, not to be underestimated: every argument that the other makes naturally also affects us. And if we have an opinion, but it has not yet passed „in flesh and blood“, there is always a danger that the arguments of our counterpart will not miss their effect on our own convictions and that we will be „thrown back“ in our own development, but at least slowed down.
When it gets tough!
The emotional aspect is not to be underestimated he
re. When it comes to a topic that not only affects our minds, but also touches our emotions, the effects just mentioned are amplified 1,000 times.
Any information that is emotionally charged burns much deeper and more firmly into our subconscious than the pure factual information.
Whoever is attacked …
That is a point to be aware of.
Especially in today’s society, which is characterized by pure competition, a different opinion represents for many people an „attack“ on themselves. If someone disagrees, it is often understood that oneself (not only the statement just made) is somehow „wrong“ or inadequate. The contradiction to a statement is perceived as rejection or even attack, which has insanely negative effects.
This is simply because as soon as we are attacked (or at least believe it), our „reptile brain“ becomes active. And as you know, this knows only three reactions:
- put dead
Escape is often not an option, as you may then could be seen as a „failure“ or as a „loser“ (which is not possible in our competitive world, as already mentioned).
Putting dead, and saying nothing more, is de facto an escape („Haha, now he’s run out of arguments!“ or „Well, first talk big, and now he knows nothing more“ or something like that) – where we’d be back at „failure.“
All that remains is attack. And it completely shuts down our cerebrum and the consequences are usually not so beautiful.
And it doesn’t have to be about hand-wringing. It is often enough when this „fight“ is conducted verbally and you perhaps say things that you feel sorry for later (which is at least a sign that you are evolving and that you notice this at all – albeit only in hindsight).
In addition, the „switching“ to our stem brain also causes everything to burn much deeper into the subconscious – since it is now even more emotionally charged and no „control function“ of our mind is available (which, as we know, has a pause when the reptile takes control in us).
Just before the breakthrough!
And if all this can’t „convince“ yet, here’s another very essential point:
We do not know how deep the conviction of the other, whose statement we cannot or do not want to agree with!
Perhaps our counterpart is already dealing with this topic (whether consciously or unconsciously does not play such a big role in this) and is already on the way „to the next stage of development“. And this path is more than susceptible to stumbling blocks!
We do not know what his true conviction is; only what he says.
But this does not have to correspond (more) to his innermost, but only because he has believed it so much for the last years and decades. Perhaps he is simply not yet ready to „admit“ a changed perception of a subject (in front of him or others). to complete the change of position.
It may well be that our counterpart has been dealing with a topic for some time and is gradually coming to the conclusion that his previous conviction no longer really corresponds to his current state of knowledge and that he is currently looking for new approaches and solutions.
If you catch him at this point and he gets the feeling of being attacked (see above), he has to express his „settled“ opinion (see again above) and thus destroys all the thoughts and internal developments.
That is an exaggeration!
see? Then tell a smoker how bad it is not and that he kills himself with it
! What will be harvested in response?
- Either a lowered head, because of „yes, I know it eh“ – that reinforces in him the feeling that he is doing something that is bad for him; and since it still does not stop (or can stop!), pulls him down – which binds him more strongly to the coffin nails
- Or he will find 1,000 arguments in flowery words, why all this is not so bad, from which one can die anything else, that everyone (s)needs a vice …. and all the other „arguments“ with which we talk our addictions beautifully, so as not to have to confront ourselves with them.
What did we gain from it, except that we might feel better because we presented our „superior“ point of view? Not much, except to have worsened his situation.
But this is just one example, the principle can be applied to virtually all topics. Whether it’s food, destinations, child-rearing, environmental protection, or whatever- the scheme is always the same:
The more we „force“ someone to defend their position, the more…
- this point of view digs deeper into its subconscious (which makes it increasingly difficult for him to reconsider)
- more we weaken our own position, because each of his arguments affects us (even if we do not believe it or want to be true)
- there is a greater danger that we will nip the germ of a new development in our counterpart (see „Betraying none„)
But silence does not help!
How can something change if you say yes and amen to everything without contradicting?
Not at all
! And that is not the idea of accepting everything without contradiction or even being called good!
It is a question of not having to speak against it at all costs. Often it
is enough to simply leave the statement standing in this way or, if necessary, to leave it. there is an „Aha“ of itself.
This also allows the other to reconsider what has just been said. How often does it happen to most of us that we say something, and even before it has completely left our mouths, we already think, „Hey, what am I talking abo
ut?“ If our counterpart now immediately steps in and „attacks us“, we immediately go into the counter-attack and defend our statement wordily – even though we thought to ourselves 2 seconds ago that this is a nonsense.
Then we are back at the beginning, when it was a matter of defending one’s point of view so vehemently simply because everything else would mean (or could even lose) a „failure“ or „losing“ – and that is a no go in our society.
If in demand, please do not want to!
And now comes the hammer! ;)
If we do NOT contradict the other or only actively listen (with „aha“ or „OK, of course you can see it“ or „as you mean“) the chaff separates from the wheat in the reaction of our counterpart, as they say so beautifully:
Either he says nothing more, then we just leave it at that and don’t start the chain reaction described at the beginning or he asks us for our opinion – and THEN we have a completely different situation!
If we still manage to use our sentences with „I believe …“ or „I could be wrong, of course, but I think.“ or „I could think…“ we are definitely on the „Winner Road“. Because then we do not concrete our statements, give the other person the opportunity to disagree and do not pose a „danger“ to anyone (since we do not call any other opinion „wrong“).
Then he asked, i.e. it is in a very different position than if we contradict it, and as a result it takes up the information we give in a very different (usually more openly). And that gives us a huge advantage, because our arguments are not fundamentally blocked.
So the conclusion…
Sometimes (or almost mostly) it is much more effective not to offer paroli to the other and simply to let him talk.
Instead of contradicting his opinion or statements, we can simply accept and respect it (even, and especially if we don’t like it).
This greatly calms our coexistence and does not unnecessarily block the development of society and each individual.