Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm Right, You Loose!

One of the biggest mistakes we make when entering into a discussion occurs when we realize we have opposing views. We begin debating an issue only to discover we each see things very differently. I may believe that a vegetarian diet is a healthier way of eating. You are a traditional meat and potatoes connoisseur. As the conversation progresses, so does the tension.
I am convinced that my way is right and therefore (since there can only be one "right") yours is wrong. You take the same stance with your position. I present you with documented proof that validates my beliefs. You counter with research that outweighs mine. I desperately try to enlighten you to the fact that your so-called "statistics" come from sources not nearly as current or respected in the field as mine. You fire back stating vegetarianism hasn't been practiced long enough for any conclusive proof of its health benefits.
Knowing that you are right, you continue your quest to prove I'm wrong. That puts me on the defensive. I hold fast to my position, determined more than ever, not to be humiliated by appearing ignorant and misinformed. Sound familiar?
This is a no-win situation. Instead of both parties agreeing to share their personal views in an arena of mutual respect for one another, insecurity takes the rein and it becomes a battle of ego. Each, wanting to maintain their dignity, argues their point until exhaustion, refusing to relinquish to the other. Tempers flare and what began as an opportunity to learn, quickly escalates to an ugly assault upon one another.
It is important to be willing to see the validity in each person's position and respect it. There are few issues of true right and wrong. Most matters are simply a difference of opinion, preference, or perception. A confident and sensitive person is comfortable with opposing viewpoints and insures that each party maintains their dignity.
Avoid using terms such as "right" and "wrong". Be gracious in your debates. In the end, you will earn the respect of the other party and that far outweighs being right.