Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Another post about getting defensive... sorta

So I was talking to this old friend, who is of an acquaintance now, but it's still cool hanging out with him.  Every time he expressed his opinion, he always stated so absolutely. This is what he believed, here is why it checks out, and that's that.

I notice how... uncertain I sound when I talk to him. When he challenges something I say, something he disagrees with, or he asks me to justify myself, I'm thrown a bit off guard.

I struggle to find the words to express to him the meanings I understand; meanings I've had time to stew over and wrap my head around. Meanings I know are so divergent from his, meanings that are predicated on fundamentally values.

So I'm trying to think how I can connect what I believe in a way that would make sense based on his frameworks of understanding (given our previous interactions and what I know about him). And this trips me up a bit because it requires me to phrase things I'm used to saying, in a different way.

This takes a while, and in the meantime, he thinks I don't hold my convictions as closely as he does his, or I don't understand my worldview or small opinion properly, or I don't actually have a good enough reason to believe what I believe in.

Which then makes me realise, he's not actually all that concerned in why I believe what I believe in — he wants me to see why his belief is more valid and why I should jump ship, or something.

It was frustrating... but then kinda liberating. I saw that I didn't have to put in energy in communicating my point of view clearly to him. I didn't need to provide context, the places and people I've encountered that have fed into what I thought, how I changed my thinking, and areas where I'm still asking questions or understand I need more experience in.

I didn't have to do any of that.

Cos he actually didn't give a shit.

I'm uninterested in debating as an activity. I don't find thrill in ripping into someones argument and display why mine is more valid. I get that even as an academic exercise, some people enjoy that. And they also enjoy carrying that exchange into every day conversation.

But like nah, not for me.

Or maybe that's not what he was doing. Maybe if I cared enough next time I talk to him, I'll ask...

1 comment: