The art of avoiding an argument

At the moment I’m reading Dale Carnegie’s classic book, ‘How to win friends & influence people’. It’s an oldie but a goodie. And the man makes a valid point: no one can win an argument. I think this also applies to climate change and global warming. For most people, any argument will leave them more convinced than ever that they are right (perhaps especially when they’re not). We’ve all seen that happen, right?

This made me think that perhaps the whole climate change debate needs to be approached differently. We need to see the other side’s viewpoint in a sympathetic way. So I should let the other person talk first, without interrupting, arguing, or defending. And while they’re talking, I should try to find something I can agree with. Seems easy, but I’m sure it’s not!

Here are some of the other things that I learned while reading this book:

  • If someone takes the time to disagree with you, chances are, they are interested in the same things you are.
  • “When two people yell, there is no communication, just noise and bad vibrations.” –Jan Peerce, opera tenor.
  • When you tell someone they’re wrong, it will never make them change their minds.
  • A kind word, friendliness, and appreciation can make someone change their mind much more quickly than bluster and anger.

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