Friday, September 14, 2012

Silly Arguments

I seem to get into arguments over the silliest things. It's not the topic of the argument that is silly, but the nature of the argument.

Someone says something, that is wrong by definition or simply self-contradictory.

I point it out.

Rather than considering my point and saying, "Hmm... good point", he gets defensive.

I try to explain that my only point is that he contradicted himself or said something that was definitionally wrong.

He takes my attempt to explain as an assault and digs into his completely indefensible position.

I try different angles of explanation moving from pure logic to metaphor.

He takes one of my metaphors literally and all hell breaks loose.

You see, it's silly. Yet, I'm not sure what to do. I know, there are the obvious things to do like "Don't pay attention to what people say" or "Shut up", but, I don't know...

You know, like when someone says that she's passionate about something, but just can't get herself up for doing it. That's kind of silly, right.  I mean, if you're passionate about something, then the problem is how to get yourself to stop doing it, not start.

Or when someone says something like, "I AM NOT being argumentative."

Or when someone says something like, "I just don't have the time for that", but he still has time to watch TV.

Perhaps it's that my arguments are too specific. Take the time-burdened TV watcher for example. I don't particularly care whether or not he pursues the thing for which he has no time. I don't particularly care whether or not he has time. In his case, my only point is that his challenge is priority, not time. It's nothing more than that. I don't even care that he changes his priority from TV watching to pursuit of his goal.

However, I'm starting to think that he makes it more than that, that he's certain I have an ulterior motive or that I mean more than I'm saying. But I don't.

The ones that always get me are prefixed by, "I really want..." or "I really wish..."

I fall for them every time. I was talking to my friend Mickey about this the other day.

It all started a few months earlier when, one morning at Fuel, Mickey explained to me that he started playing bass guitar years ago and that he'd love to learn to play again. I thought, "Hmm..." and a few days later walked into fuel with a new bass guitar that I gave to Mickey. Then for several weeks following, I offered to give him a bass lesson.

So the other day, Mickey explains to me that not everyone really wants to do what they say they really, really wish they could do.

I understand what he means, but I don't get it.

So, for now, I end up in silly arguments.

Happy Friday,
Teflon

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