Leap Year Lesson #234: You Don’t Have To Win Every Argument

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Communication
Tags: , ,

Do you know someone who seems to enjoy arguing?  Perhaps it’s a coworker.  Maybe it’s a friend, acquaintance or neighbor.  Or it might be a family member, although I hope it isn’t one that lives under the same roof as you.

What is your reaction to someone who only seems “happy” when he/she is verbally ripping at someone else?  If you’re like me, you don’t want to be around that person much.  Such argumentative conversation is a constant drain on one’s emotions, attitude, energy and outlook.

Today I had to take action against someone in the online community I manage for her constant, endless, argumentative way of having a “conversation” with others.  She had been warned more than once and knew that the next offense would result in removal from the community.  Yet she seemed intent on continuing the behavior.  So for the first time in over two years of dealing with a 20,000+ member online community, I banned someone from participation for at least the next few months.

In discussing it with my team, we all just shook our heads and asked things like “Doesn’t she understand what she’s doing?” and “Why does she keep on doing that after being warned?”  It seems to be so ingrained with this person to have to win every argument she throws herself into that it exhausts most others subjected to it, whether they are the subject of her comments or not.

I’m no psychologist or psychotherapist, and I’ve never met this person who lives far away in another state other than in our online community.  I wish for her that someday she awakens to the understanding of the need for greater social skills, particularly in a professional work environment.

If you insist on arguing, and you think you have won because you got the last word in, it may just be because everyone else has already stopped listening to you and moved on.

Leap year lesson #234 is You don’t have to win every argument.  It’s better to lose an argument than to lose a person.  In fact, it’s better to avoid arguments in the first place.

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