Earlier today I had a discussion with a friend. It was a really stupid one where we both felt defensive over our play styles over a particular video game character. He ended up being right about the argument, and then I told him that I was wrong. This is how arguments should go…
But people tend to believe I won’t admit I’m wrong. I find arguing to be one of the best ways to have a conversation, unfortunately. I’ve noticed that the only way to be heard, for me, is to get the person heated up enough to actually argue with me. I’m not saying a full on yelling match or anything but to actually have a conversation with differing opinions. This allows both of the parties to see different perspectives.
What sucks is when I understand their perspective completely, but because I’m arguing a different point…they think I don’t understand it. Then they go on to explain themselves five hundred different times without even considering my point of view. That…is when arguing is painful.
I get this a lot because I am always the person who tries to understand the opposite perspective, even when I don’t agree with them.
We take people who are trying to understand another side and tell them they are evil, corrupt or not understanding. We have an ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ mentality and no one can seem to get out of it because so few people are trying to understand the other perspective.
The only way to really get someone to change is to understand why they believe that way in the first place. The only way to find an even ground is to find the middle ground by understanding both sides. It’s not going to work if we keep arguing our own points over and over again. It’s not going to work if we stop listening to someone that we don’t agree with. We are just going to keep looping around the same hole and falling in.
That’s why history repeats itself. It’s not because of some cosmic force, but because we don’t try and understand the other perspective. We don’t try to get out of the ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ even though we think we do. Instead we stab at certain ideologies that we do not agree with in order to make life better.
Also, the reason why I say we is because we are society. Each individual is a part of the society as a whole, and if we keep allowing people to stay in their corners and not try and understand each other – then we will never change.
We can’t say that arguments are stupid because they are about stupid things. We have to understand that constructive arguments are there to understand differing perspectives. You remember what Neil Armstrong said?
“A small step for man, a giant leap for mankind” …that doesn’t just have to be about space.