“I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use.” – Oscar Wilde
You can’t win an argument with facts. The problem isn’t in the data it’s with us. People don’t like to be wrong and when you begin to show someone that their beliefs may be circumspect you wage a war that cannot be won.
So, a better approach to win this battle must be identified. There are two classic options.
Choice 1-destroy your enemy. We still use this method more frequently than we care to admit. Think of all the wars or “conflicts” occurring in the world in the last 20 years.
We often rely on brute strength to remove obstacles and challenges to our beliefs more than any other method available to us. Why? It’s the easiest method available.
I mean, look at how easy it is to tell if you won? If bad guy A is removed you can declare victory even if the underlying issues which will result in future conflict remain.
Most of the time we declare victory without having to actually changing anything. Think of it like the cover on a book. We can rip off the cover and give it a new name, but if we don’t do anything to the text in the book nothing will change in the long term.
Choice 2-Seek to understand then adapt to accommodate a shared goal. Learn what the other person believes-don’t judge-but learn. Ask questions. Delve into the underlying relationships between cause and effect, and once you’ve earned trust by demonstrating your ability to learn and understand new knowledge.
This is the one of the rare moments after childhood that a person will be willing to receive contradictory information without fighting it.
Heres’s why, the law of reciprocity is a social rule almost all human cultures have universally assimilated. It states that once you invest in another person they are willing/sometimes socially obligated to invest in you. It’s most often used in terms of gift-giving, but the law works just as well when applied to relationships.
When you invest time to understand, communicate, and accept another person’s beliefs (not necessarily agree with them) you will experience reciprocal actions toward yourself. Through this process we have the best chance of coordinating shared cultural understanding and developing relationships based on shared values rather than one-sided approaches based on win/lose or right/wrong scenarios.
It’s no surprise then that we resist power- imposed upon us without our consent. Remember this when dealing with others. Seek a compromise. One can earn this opportunity by first taking the time to understand the beliefs of those around you.
Then, by using your newly obtained knowledge, you can connect and share the points of compromise you are both likely to agree upon. Your partner will return both the intent and purpose they receive and redistribute it to you. If the conversation is open and sincere with the best interests of both parties in mind, you will succeed. A fair warning though. attempt to guilt the other party and you have burnt a bridge of trust for a generation. No one in that lifetime will be likely to trust you.