Do You Argue With People?

Do you argue with people?

Last week I had dinner with six people.

The topic of vaccinations came up.

The conversation got heated.

Two people began arguing because one was pro-vaccine and the other was anti-vaccine.

Round and round they went, yelling and arguing until one left the table.

It was uncomfortable.

Here’s the thing.

Arguing with people is a net negative every time. Even if you “win,” you hurt the other person’s feelings.

When you argue, you’re subconsciously saying, “I’m right, and you’re wrong.” Egos don’t like that very much.

It’s not your job to talk people “into” your point of view.

The problem is the word “into.”

Whenever people feel like you’re trying to talk them into changing their minds, they dig their heels in even deeper.

Tell someone all the reasons why they shouldn’t smoke and they smoke even more than they normally would. It’s called the backfire effect.

What’s the way out?

Change your intention.

Vaccination opposition isn’t new. As long as there have been vaccines, there have been people who objected to them.

When someone has another viewpoint, practice suspending your ego. (Simple but not easy.)

Set your intention on understanding the other person’s perspective even if you disagree with it.

Here’s what they might sound like:

“Seems like people are still getting sick even with the vaccine.”

“You don’t want to be muzzled.”

“Sounds like you’re passionate about your freedom to choose. You don’t want the government telling you what to do.”

“I haven’t heard that stat before. Where did you read that?”

“The RNA modifies our genetic code?” (Said with a slight uptone as if to say, “Tell me more.” It’s called mirroring. Again it gets back to making people feel heard, rather than judged.

Everyone has the hunger to be heard.

You don’t have to *gasp* voice your opinion.

I love this quote by Marcus Aurelius:

“You always own the option of having no opinion. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.”

You can be curious and observe.

You can choose to let things be.

Knowing how to make other people feel heard and understood is a superpower for forging strong emotional connections between two people.

Stop arguing.

Rewire your brain to listen.