Friday, November 09, 2018
We often find ourselves in the following situation, when it comes to a discussion or argument: we confront people with different ideas or perspectives to our own. We are arguing in good faith: we sincerely believe in our ideas and want to convey them to the other side, perhaps convincing them to change or alter their opinion.
We lay out facts and evidence to bolster our opinion but slowly and subtly we find the discussion/argument veering in unexpected directions, becoming increasingly heated. Our ideas are challenged in a way that makes us emotional. We return their fire. It starts to get a bit personal. We begin to lose track of the original idea, weakening our own position as we get lost in tangents. In the end, we feel frustrated, angry, and sometimes even guilty for saying things we later regret. What has happened in this situation? Most often, we have locked horns with a type we shall call the passive-aggressive arguer. This type does not argue in good faith.
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