It happened again. You just finished arguing with an old high school friend about politics. It ended badly. They un-friended you, and blocked you. You’re left there, angry and resentful. You have no idea why they reacted so strongly, and proceeded to call you a ‘nazi.’
This happens all the time, across the digital world of social media. Friendships are lost, and people revert further and further into their own space with like-minded individuals. But that shouldn’t be how debates end. That shouldn’t be how debates go at all!
If you are intending to debate with a friend or stranger, then it’s important to be aware of some key things that you’re most likely ignoring. Here’s a list of reasons why you might not be getting your point across.
- ) You’re not face-to-face.
- What do you mean? Well, think about the last time you had a debate with someone in person. How easy was it for that person to take a break to look up facts?
- Also, expressions and body language are a big part of how humans communicate. Without non-verbal cues, we’re left to guess the gravity of words on a screen.
- ) You’re too angry.
- If you feel your blood boil as soon as you read a comment, then TAKE A BREAK. Their comment will still be there when you get back.
- ) Offensive language.
- “You’re all snow-flakes.” “You’re narrow minded.” “This is bad.” Need I type more?
- Offensive language is a huge part of getting your point tossed aside. Ask yourself, do you really want them to understand you? If yes, then throw out the offensive and judgmental language. It’s not necessary in a healthy debate.
- ) You’re talking too much.
- Again, ask yourself if you really want them to understand you. If yes, then stop talking so much! Listen to them. Understand them. If you don’t, then you’re both just talking at each other.
- ) Lack of empathy.
- If you aren’t capable of understanding and feeling their sorrow, or pain, then just stop. Because they won’t want to feel yours.
- Remember, their cause is just as important to them, as yours is to you. So don’t belittle them, don’t insult them. Understand them.
I hope this list helps you communicate with friends and acquaintances better. Don’t continue to fall victim to these pitfalls of communication! Become the debate-master.
Read more here: Exercise Your Empathy