I’m not the good guy here, let me make that clear straight away. In this story, no one is.
I recently saw a quote that said something along the lines of “The wolf will always be the bad guy if Red Riding Hood is telling the story” And it got me thinking… Real life is way more complicated than fairy-tale. The characters aren’t as clear as you would imagine.
As humans, we tend to be self-centred and believe that the stars and the heavens are conspiring against us when things don’t go our way. I remember my moody teen years when I thought the Universe wanted to ruin me and claimed no one cared about me. Sorry, Universe!
Anyway back to the point. We usually only see things from our point of view. This will probably make things worse in an argument if you can’t see where the other person is coming from. Lately, I have been trying to see it from other people’s perspective. To do this, you have to really listen, not just thinking up countering arguments.
It’s not an easy task in general (see point on being self-centred) but being emotionally invested in the debate, fogs most rational judgement and you resort to calling them “stupid” or saying they’re “acting silly” for not getting on board with your ideologies, all of which is rather narrow-minded on your part. So slow down, listen to each other, understand each other, and discuss.
Because more often than not, the story seems different from the other side. Say, you unintentionally aggravated your friend, causing them to be distant. Now, you’re left wondering who crapped on them, and why are they taking it out on you leaving you annoyed. And they’re just thinking you’re mean since, in their eyes, it was your fault, to begin with. Talk to one another, people!
So I challenge whoever reads this (including myself, ‘cause I am probably going to read this the most) to step outside of yourself for a minute and imagine what the other person is going through. You don’t have to agree with their standpoint, but you need to acknowledge its validity and significance.
Another thing that needs to be acknowledged in a dispute is emotions. I recall a playful spat with my friend where he had upset me, and I told him to acknowledge my feelings, and he was so confused by the notion. You can argue the truth of facts and disagree on opinions, but you can’t take away the way you made someone feel. You may not understand why but that does not make them illegitimate.
Well, that pretty much wraps up what I wanted to say. Go forth and rock!
P.S. If you want to watch a movie about differing perspectives (neither of which is perfect nor completely flawed), I suggest Captain America: Civil War. It’s pretty awesome