Once upon a time I used to have anger management issues; a politically correct way of saying I used to have a bad temper. Then I decided it’s not healthy and stopped throwing tantrums cold turkey. Although I must admit it felt so satisfying every time I let all that emotion out in a gush but having said that I’m also of the opinion that such behavior is a characteristic of weak personalities. It renders a person downright self-destructive.
But anger is just one emotion. We have to deal with a spectrum of emotions as human beings, we are special by virtue of having the capability to feel. However, it is the duty of each one of us to control and tame our feelings and to me the best way is to figure out what things trigger which emotions to yourself. It’s an enduring education of self. There’s something about descriptively knowing your adversary that gives you power over it/him/her. Anyway, if I could summarize this post in one sentence I’d say; try not to allow your emotions to dictate how you make your arguments or judgements.
Some people would say I like to argue, I say I like to debate. I would like to believe there is a difference. For this reason I’m always massively disappointed when I enter into a debate with someone who because of their emotions wouldn’t allow reason to be the basis for their arguments anymore, and worse still, not be aware of this themselves. I have been wrong many times, I have lost many debates and gave in (as embarrassing as it may be sometimes), I have caught myself in the dilemma of having to choose between fact or feeling, I’m just thankful that over time I’ve learned how to tell the difference. Take for example the controversial subject of homosexuals and their rights, a homophobic will naturally argue against but it shouldn’t be so natural. I just want people to be able to say- I don’t like or even approve of what they do but they are entitled to this or that because of that and this.
Please do not be mad at me because I hold a different view from yours. Please do not hate me for that, if it’s a stupid opinion to hold you would do me more good to enlighten me because it would be definitely because I am under informed. I am more than willing to learn new truths. Please do not resort to calling me names because you don’t sound so convincing to me, you will lose your credibility in my eyes and hence the chance to rescue me from my ignorance and then what would be the point of the debate in the first place? You are better off quietly leaving me to rot in my ignorance. The point is to learn from each other and sometimes from ourselves when we trigger thoughts and ideas in each others’ minds, is it not?
If I ever offend you just take a deep breath to calm down. Hold your tongue before you say something profane, it will pass like a wave then you’ll be able to be reasonable again for the purpose of the debate. That’s what I do but I won’t tell you how it’s worked out for me so far though… 🙂