One of the best lessons I learnt in 2015 is how to handle arguments. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I’m an argumentative person, but I do find myself in my fair share of “heated discussions” and “debates,” both with people I know and love and with those who I hardly know and honestly don’t really care about. As humans, or at least as a Rufaro, I strive to come out on top. I’ve gotten better at picking my battles, but when I do choose one, my main objective is to win; but, what I’ve learnt recently is that sometime you just have to walk away. Not in the physical sense, because that tends to come across as rude and solves nothing, but I’ve learnt how to know when to just end it and move on. Of course, that feeling is rare; most of the times I’m a believer that if something started, it usually needs to end then and end resolved. But, sometimes, in these cases, you just need to let it go.
When You Feel Like You’re About to Get Personal and Go Too Far
You can feel it on the top of your tongue. You’re emotion is about to take over, and you feel as if the rage will culminate in you, going way too far, saying something too personal, cutting too deep at the wrong time, in the wrong place, in the heat of the moment. In the end, the only thing you’ll regret more than the things you didn’t say are the words you intentionally said to hurt someone. It’s better to let it go than to end up unnecessarily hurting someone or yourself, so leave before you say something that you’ll regret as soon as you’re detached from the situation.
When You Realize You’re Wrong
This is the worst: the realization mid-argument that you are in fact wrong and that you need to make something up because your point, whatever it was, is just wrong. This one will take time, and I have yet to master the art of admitting that I‘m wrong. But, despite your pride and the self-righteousness that’s about to inflate in the person you’re talking to, it’s okay. Just admit it, run away, and never speak of it again…
When You Just Don’t Care for It Anymore
Have you ever had that moment mid-argument where you’re overwhelmed with the feeling of “I literally don’t even care” — when you have just ceased to care at all. You don’t even remember why you thought this was worth getting into or why you’re still speaking, but whatever it is, it just isn’t important anymore. Just admit it: “I no longer care enough to continue this argument. Can we just move on?”
When the Other Person Is Irrational
Some people are not worth your time or your well-thought-out, spell-checked Twitter responses. Often times people get into an argument for the sole sake of pushing their opinion or reinforcing their own belief that they are right (even if they really aren’t) onto you. If you’re misfortunate enough to find yourself in this situation, politely cut your losses and end it. Talking to a brick wall is never fun. Talking to an ignorant, close-minded, and stubborn brick wall is worse. Sometimes it’s your duty to make sure that you get across what is right in order to educate, but after a certain point, you just have to move on. Irrational, close-minded people aren’t going to listen, so don’t waste your valuable time on them.
When you look back on your life, which are you going to be more inclined to think: “Wooo, yeah me, I shut EVERYONE down and won every argument!” or “I’m so glad I spent less time on pointless arguments, chose my battles, and spent more time on good, productive conversations with the people I loved.”
May every argument you get into end well.