Too often, when in the midst of a discussion or debate, people get worked up when others refuse to accept their opinions. Just because a person does not accept your viewpoint does not mean that you should take it to heart. A rejection of one’s ideas is not a rejection of a person as a whole. Furthermore, we cannot allow ourselves to walk away from these situations without understanding ourselves and the other(s).
We have all encountered situations like this at one point or another. You engage in a back-and-forth exchange with a friend, family member or colleague on some topic. After an exhausting debate both parties have become angered, bitter, frustrated, irate or some other negative emotional state. It’s likely that both experience a combination of several emotional states that don’t feel all that good. In fact, you’re probably left wondering, “Was it worth investing all that energy to have this ______ (fill in the blank accordingly) not get a thing that I said?”
Regardless of whether you think it was worth it or not, be sure to maintain a realistic sense of what really happened. This will prove to be difficult, because strong emotions can cloud our memories; yet, it’s imperative that one honestly reflects on what occurred. Try to make it a learning experience and gain a deeper sense of understanding about yourself and the one with who you were in disagreement. A simple dismissal of those on the “wrong” side of the discussion will leave you worse off than before you started: emotionally drained without knowledge gained. Do this and you essentially are a “stuper” (see Counterfeit Humans).
Here are some guiding principles for the discussion (in no particular order):