Worth Not Fighting About


It makes for great cinema to see heroes vanquishing their enemies by pummeling them into submission or terminating them entirely.

In a civilized society, though?
Most philosophers would cite fighting, warfare, and death as extreme last options. Even the healthiest perspectives on M.A.D. resemble some form of finding mutual understanding before annihilating the world.

If I can’t destroy my enemies, what then?

First thing first — scale it down a bit, Hulk.
Access your inner Bruce.

We’re at work, in line at the grocery store, sitting in a negotiation, making dinner with a spouse or partner, learning about life with the kids… we’re not saving the universe in the nick of time.

Signals are the key.

When we take on a posture of defiance, resistance, aggression or any other form of drawing a proverbial line in the sand, we render ourselves virtually incapable of one of our most super superpowers — empathy.
From any closed mental posture, it’s nearly impossible to understand anyone else’s perspective. What’s worse, you send a signal of rejection to whomever is on the other side of the argument from you.
”Don’t bother trying to communicate with me, I refuse to listen.”
(see also: “Surrender or die.”)

Instead, take an opportunity to recast your argument in someone else’s terms, based upon how they see the world around them. This gives them a chance to ascertain on their own whether adopting your vision fits in with what they want, need, or think that they know. Send a signal of acceptance and willingness to understand something other than what’s sent you hurtling down your tunnel in the first place.
”Does this make sense to you? Why or why not?”

You might find that this process helps to ultimately strengthen your position.
You might find that this process helps you to learn about a misgiving in your own worldview.
You will definitely find that your odds of changing someone else’s mind increase exponentially.

When an outcome is important, it’s worth not fighting about.