I don’t have much interest in a big old post today, but just a quick thought. I’ve encountered, directly and indirectly online in recent weeks, a lot of people who like to argue.
But who don’t like to listen.
Some of the people I know in person and online have strongly held opinions and will argue damn near to the death for their point. No crime in that. Because the people I like who do that will still step back for a moment and, even if not swayed to the other side, can stop and consider a point. Or consider that he or she may be wrong.
What really gets under my skin, though, are the people who won’t listen. Ever. If, God forbid, you catch them in a logical fallacy, or you successfully argue against one of their points, they just ignore what you did. Then they hit you with a whole new argument or repeat the same argument they had before.
It’s like a grown-up version of “La-la-la-la, I can’t HEAR you!”
Such people are, I have decided, not much worthy of my time. I am going to endeavor to mostly ignore them, or artfully acknowledge them in a way that shows I have total disdain for them and no interest in talking to them. It’ll depend on my mood, I’m sure.
And you know, I’m not even going to give these kind of people the credit of saying that talking to them is like talking to a wall. Because most walls have better listening skills that these jerks and better reading comprehension most of the time, too.
But one message I have to all those out there who do this, most of whom are just dressed-up Internet trolls: It cuts both ways.
If you want to argue, and be taken seriously, then you must also listen.
If you can’t take the cuts, and you can’t deal with being disarmed at times by a superior sword-stroke, go find someone stupider than yourself to battle. Because if you aren’t going to duel with any style or grace, I’m not going to waste my words in any kind of debate with you.