Opinions differ from person to person. Being the narcissists we are, we just love trying to prove that ours is right, by throwing around facts and sarcastic remarks. Having arguments can be fun at times and be a useful exercise for critical thinking. In the professional arena, being a good negotiator and having the ability to persuade people goes a long way. But there are times you just need to let it go. Here are instances where one upping the other person isn’t worth it.
Against someone clearly distressed
If someone is distressed or is hurting, he or she gets in an unstable mental state. They experience anger and frustration, and get defensive about the slightest issues. So naturally, you may find yourself in disagreement with someone going through a rough time. It’s just plain inconsiderate to try to prove to that person that they are wrong. In cases like this, it’s more appropriate to show empathy and let the other person emote their frustrations, while checking your temptation to engage in a logical back and forth. More often than not, these people know that they’re in the wrong, but just get overwhelmed by their emotions.
Against loved ones
You need to realize that having a positive relationship with your loved ones is far more important than winning any meaningless argument. Of course, if the argument is about an important mutual issue that needs a decision, that’s another story. But we often get into arguments about insignificant or personal problems with our loved ones. These usually end up being hurtful to the other person. In fact, these arguments shouldn’t happen in the first place. Like if a close friend of yours comes to you complaining about how tough the academics are for his or her major, don’t try to convince them that it’s not that tough or that you have it worse.
Online debates are the epitome of the phrase “not worth it”. It takes up your time, your energy and leads to nothing but two strangers resenting each other. Platforms like Facebook and YouTube are not the place to force your opinions on others. There are certainly exceptions, like standing up for your friend who’s being harassed on a post and such. But more often than not, online debates waste your time and ruin everyone’s moods. People don’t usually want to change their viewpoints so you’re better off spending that time elsewhere.
When you’re among friends enjoying yourself
If you’re out chilling with friends, for the love of god, don’t start a heated debate. It just kills the vibe and takes away from the fun. Say all the people you’re with are passionate football fans and all of you start arguing about which transfers make sense. Then by all means, go ahead. It’s relevant to everyone and that’s something all of you enjoy. But if you’re hanging out with a bunch of people who are not that into football, and you take the floor to start the same argument with a buddy of yours, that’s just going to annoy everyone else.
In general, try not to make arguments personal. You have to pick your battles, and you have to pick wisely.
Mushfiqur Rahman Shanto is a lost and confused soul going through his early twenties’ crisis. Send him life advice at firstname.lastname@example.org