“Never argue with an idiot. People watching won’t be able to tell the difference.”
Sometimes they help us. Other times they dominate our lives for long periods only to lead nowhere. I’m talking about arguments.
When is it advantageous and when does it harm more than help? Personally, I’ve always felt that there are two instances when the potential in arguing seems plausible enough to gamble on.
Firstly, believe in what you’re saying and be able to back it up. We all go through phases, myself included, who argue simply to please our own egos. This is the stage at which we try to hammer one point without any reasoning beyond the cliche “Because that’s the way I want it.” Now if it’s something personal, like painting your own bedroom or house, it’s fine. It’s YOUR property after all and you don’t have to justify anything to anyone except yourself. As long as your decisions are not causing inherent harm to anyone else, it doesn’t matter.
But beyond something that just involves you, it helps having done your research. One of the reasons social media is so polluted these days is because people are all too quick to put out there opinion in 10-second tweet or Facebook post but don’t always have the space to expand that opinion to a cerebral and stimulating level.
It’s all headlines but no context to it. Certainly, everyone has the right to share their two cents. But if you’re going to do that, why not make it something substantial? Perhaps then we all, including myself, need to learn the art of succinct expressions when it comes to arguing on social media.
The second stage where arguing might be beneficial is knowing who you’re arguing with. There are people in this world, perhaps the majority, who will refuse to see a point beyond their own. This is not necessarily because of a lack of intelligence. Rather, it’s simply a stubbornness or the aforementioned pleasure of stroking the ego. In such circumstances, arguing will lead to nothing but a vicious circle that never ends nor shows even a hint of reaching a destination point.
But if you know the person you’re arguing with is reasonably open-minded, especially when presented with logic and reasoning, the arguing is more likely to lead to both parties coming out more clear-headed and perhaps even learning something that they did not previously know. A healthy argument, debate or conversation between two reasonably-minded people will stimulate growth.
Like anything else, arguing needs to be done with proper care and preparation to it articulate exactly what we want to say rather than coming across as rambling.
To sum it up, when arguing keep these factors in mind: Back up what you’re saying with extensive research, logic and reasoning. If on social media, learn to express your thoughts succinctly. And lastly, know the person you’re arguing with is worth your time.
In any situation beyond these factors, always ask yourself: What will be the end result? Will I win or end up stressing myself out more? If the latter conclusion comes to mind, perhaps it’s not worth it.
How do you evaluate the pros and cons of arguing? Are there specific factors like the ones mentioned in this article that you keep in mind? If so, which ones? If not, what determines your decision? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.