Monday, July 16, 2007

Unwinnable Arguments

Have you ever listened to someone who was in an absolute rage at their boss, coworker or about how they were treated by someone in a faceless business. We could swear that they are going to have a heart attack if they don't calm down.

Have you watched a person become consumed by their hatred. Their life is defined by and supportive of that hatred. There is almost no room for anything else in their life.

What does all that rage, hate, and anger solve?

Absolutely nothing.

Do we somehow think that our fighting back will change the person that caused it. Do we think that by attacking or subtle sabotage will cause that person or organization to change.

People are who they are. Only they can change themselves. Granted if we have power over them then we can enforce our will but then we will have become one of them.

Sometimes it can be how we respond that can start the process of change in them. When we maintain our belief in ourselves and our actions reflect those beliefs then they cannot affect us. That is our choice and our strength. 

Do you agree? Disagree?

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11 conversations:

Comedy + said...

I agree. Some people so dislike themselves that they spend their lives trashing others. They are so negative. I avoid these folks. If you buy in they will/can suck the very life out of you. No one, and I mean no one can steal my soul. Not if I won't let them. Another great post Peter. :)

Peter Haslam said...

Yes Sandee a total waste of time and effort good addition

Derrick Kwa said...

Agree that we should not let it get to us and build up "rage, hate, and anger" in us.

However, I don't think that we should stop trying to "fight back" per se. While, fighting back does not have to be done (and should not be done) in anger, we should take a stand for what we believe, and fight for it. People and organisations can change, and we shouldn't just sit back and accept things the way they are if we disagree.

Peter Haslam said...

Absolutely Derrick I agree with you as long as it is not out of hate. Good Point

Carol said...

I agree to a certain point Peter. I too think it is important to stand up for one's beliefs but at the same time I like to "pick my battles." Great Post to get my juices flowing - thanks!

Shine said...

Thanks for the sharing Peter. Be kind or be nice? While one is so busy trying to "win" in an argeument, he loses/hurts the relationship anyhow. It may not be that worthwhile afterall.

Peter Haslam said...

Carol and Shine great points thanks for the addition

ChristinaG said...

I've met quite a few expats who rage and rage about the country they are living in. Sometimes they have become entrenched to the point that they find nothing positive about the country anymore. These folks are just no fun to be around. A country is not going to change and it's unreasonable to think that there is absolutely nothing good about a country or its people. I find that anger, while sometimes needed, generally gets in the way of being happy, but I guess there are some folks who can only find happiness in being unhappy.

Peter Haslam said...

ChristinaG a very clear illustration of the point. Thank you for the addition

Brad K. said...

"People are who they are. Only they can change themselves. "

Seth Godin made an incredibly powerful comment a few days ago, "Marketing works". What we do influences how others behave. From carney criers to political campaigners. From school teachers to spouses. It would be a surprise to marketing and advertising professionals that the only changes people make are conscious and voluntary.

I think the truth lies somewhere between 'people are who they are' and 'you are your brother's keeper'. Our challenge is to learn the intervention strategies that work for our friend's and co-worker's, and our company's, best good.

Peter Haslam said...

Influence works only if we allow it to by accepting the need to have what marketers say we need. Fundementalists would not buy that argument nor perhaps a member of the green revolution. Thanks for the addition thought Brad will chew on it.