Think, Don’t React


I don’t like to argue, partly because I don’t like the confrontation that usually comes with it. The definition of argument is (1) an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one, and (2) A reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong. The main reason most arguments end up “heated or angry” is because logic gets thrown out the window and emotions rule. One lesson I learned from my single mom is emotions limit our ability to rationalize and think through a situation. Therefore, in order to “persuade others” to our point of view, we need to have a rational discussion about all of the facts, both for and against, free from our emotions. Unfortunately, when we are passionate about something, keeping our emotions in check is difficult. It’s also difficult to accept that it’s not about winning or losing. Per the reading assignment, “the best an argument can do is convince other people to accept (or at least acknowledge) the validation of a position.” When arguing our point of view, if we can get others to at least have an open mind to our position, then we have succeeded. Just throwing out a bunch of facts will not persuade others. It’s about knowing what those facts mean and organizing them into a logical thought process. It’s a process that requires thinking and common sense, both of which are severely lacking in our society today. Many people today don’t take the time to think through the issues; instead they make emotional and irrational decisions. So, the next time you want to persuade someone to your point of view, put emotion aside and think rationally.

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8 thoughts on “Think, Don’t React

  1. I am the kind of person who avoids arguments for the same exact reason you described above: to prevent the confrontation or fight that comes with it. Most of the time, I keep my opinions to myself and try not to disagree with people for the simple reason of not wanting to “argue” with them. After reading the book, I have l realized that society has created the wrong connotation for the word “argument”. Nowadays most people, including myself, relate the word “argument” with words such as fight, confrontation, quarrel, competition, etc. From the reading, I have learned that an argument does not always have to be informal. An academic argument is a formal way to share your ideas/opinions and convince the audience to accept or at least acknowledge your position. I also agree with you that most of the time, if not always, emotions get involved in arguments, which result in fights and/or confrontations between people. I would also have to add that another reason why arguments lead to fights is because everyone always wants to be “right”.

  2. The other reason I don’t like informal arguments is that I don’t recall the information needed as quickly as I would like to. Well after an argument or discussion is over, I start remembering all the things I should have said. Needless to say, I’d never make the debate team. I much prefer an academic argument, especially in written form. A written argument allows me to methodically think through all the issues and put them down in an orderly manner. Plus, it allows me to keep my emotions in check. I think everyone wants to be “right”; it’s hard to admit when we’re wrong. But, when we are right, we shouldn’t gloat and when we are wrong we shouldn’t be angry. We need to learn from the experience, whether “right” or “wrong”, and use it as an opportunity to grow and become a better person.

  3. I love the passion in your writing and you are correct when you say emotion is the ememy in an argument. There is no actual winner if you have not conveyed numorous facts. You cannot think you are going to win an argument by yelling over a person presenting nothing but your opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and no one has the right to tell you your opinion is wrong. If you calmly write out your facts and present them without involving your personal emotion you will have a better chance in succeeding. Although you can persuade other with emotion, when you put your personal emotion in the picture it can break or make your argument. I for one do not like to argue unless it is something I know a lot about or care about. If it does not purtain to my interest I will let the other person win or not make much of an effort. Yet when a person is passionate about something emotion finds its way into your argument whether you are conveying facts or not. In some cases emotion can be the key.

    • Thank you, I appreciate the complement. Passion would be an emotion and I do believe passion makes for a good argument, especially if you have the facts to back it up. But, some may mistake your passion for arrogance which would lead to a negative response. Just as with any emotion, you can’t let it overwhelm the situation.

  4. Although I find arguing to be fun and interesting at times, I also see where you are coming from. When the argument takes a turn for the worst and becomes an all out emotional battle, it can cause you to avoid arguments at all costs. I have had arguments about theology where the objective switched from discussing our beliefs to a fight about who was right and wrong. With their emotions kicking in, the other party stopped trying to prove their beliefs and just exclaimed I was wrong and that was that. With hurt feelings, I finally had to walk away. It’s examples like these that give the word “argument” a negative connotation. An argument is not about winning. It is about validating your opinion. If people could stick to the facts and use the debate for persuasion purposes only, without emotions kicking in when things fail to go as planned, people would not be as overwhelmed when it came to arguing.

    • Theology, like politics, is a difficult discussion. I have had theological discussions as well, and they can be very emotional. The most frustrating are those that believe what they believe and no one can tell them any different. At that point, I just pray:)

  5. like it was said most times in the mist of the arguement we tend to forget what the arguement was about and fact are just thrown out without regard as to what they can or might infer to the other party that is involved. we can mostly see these characteristics in relationships as both members are too busy trying to get their point across they forget why they started argueing

  6. I completely agree 100% with this! I literally can’t stand to argue with someone, especially if it is a retarded topic. Usually when I find myself in an argument, I will always try to get out of it unless someone tests my knowledge on my religion, then the argument will continue to rage. What usually happens most of the time is I will always end up and agree with the person I would be arguing with just to get it over with. Everyone always has to think before they say what they want to say. Every argument is like a time bomb getting ready to go off depending on, when either you or your opponents emotions will explode into a storm of anger. And I completely agree to Rossalya up there^, no matter who you are arguing with, they will always want to be right. And what I do to sometimes to persuade others, is to stick to that one piece of information that is a true fact and not to begin saying other random facts that can sometimes not make sense.

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