Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Argument

It is important to create a trusted environment where we can openly share our thoughts without any fears.

The argument is “an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one; a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong.” ( The world is still full of arguments geographically, scientifically, economically, politically, and religiously. Is the argument healthy or toxic? What's the good, bad, and ugly perspective of argument?

If coming from constructive critical thinking, arguments are indeed healthy and a proof we are alive: It is necessary most of the times arguments, given for the sake of simply proving or leading to some valid conclusion based on facts and different logical angels regardless of biases or intentions of maligning or pulling down the other party, are vital. Having arguments where you practice dissociating from your beliefs and your feelings about them are the ones that lead to learning, empathy, and self-awareness. It's all about letting go of the "looking good" syndrome we all have so deeply embedded in us. That's when we not only practice critical thinking but also truly connect with others and learn from them. After empathy, these are the tools to understand the other side of view or story.

But if arguments are not leading to some constructive and peaceful scenario, it is not necessary at all, and sometimes turns to be ugly. Having an argument when you are emotional and egotistical leads nowhere. They are the most dangerous kind of arguments because your beliefs end up overpowering the truth. It’s better to remain silent or not to drag unnecessarily for embracing the diversity of perception. It is possible to learn nothing from an argument. But, still, there remains potential to learn very much, both of the opponent’s view and one’s own. One can take measures of the level of zeal and rigor of reasoning all around. And from post-mortem reflection, one can emerge with a solid self-assessment of the strong and weak areas of the self-control. If you listen to give a thoughtful response based on experience as to why you disagree, you might mind a new view. When how we feel about something is getting in the way of us hearing someone and the same is true for the other person, we both need an opportunity to be able to really stand in our truth, to really speak for it, and have it witnessed. Problems arise when this need and a process for dealing with it are not made mutually conscious and agreed on. Those who are vehement, forceful, over-reactive, out-of-control and who summarily dismiss viewpoints that do not align with their own in order to prevail, do not necessarily 'win' arguments; rather, they distinguish themselves as ego-centered individuals or low EQ persons.

Definitely, we can learn a lot from arguments especially constructive arguments: But when an argument steers away from reasoning and common sense then we should listen more than talking at this point. It is important to create a trusted environment where we can openly share our thoughts without any fears and all statements are allowed. Not easy to do - but any time worth trying.

It is important to live by the principles of listening carefully, asking insightful questions, practicing critical thinking, and communicating honest caring for others, even when they disagree. In this way, exchanges of diverse thoughts and ideas are kept civil and the higher ground is achieved. If we are well-grounded in our beliefs, others do not pose a threat -- and when we offer ourselves with empathy - they are often compelled to consider more carefully the information we have to offer. So, understand the good, bad, and ugly of argument, and let constructive arguments catalyze change and move the world forward.


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