“That’s none of my business”

A daughter sat complaining to her mother about an argument she was having with her father. When she asked if her mother would intervene and work out the situation for her, her mother said “Honey, that’s none of my business.” This seems harsh but in actuality it was a very wise decision. She would have done her daughter a disservice if she had gone and smoothed things over with her father. The mother could have created peace and resolved the issue, but the two players were the father and daughter. If someday the mother weren’t there, the two would never have learned to communicate or resolve their issues because their mediator was missing.

Oftentimes it is best to stay out of arguments that aren’t our own. We can give advice and counsel, but we should never do all the work to create peace. We start to enable those who are having the problems, and they begin to rely on us to fix them. Once that happens the tendency will be to get dragged into all the arguments and those we love will never learn to work through their own problems with each other.

Why Debating is Often Counterproductive

Do we start a debate firmly believing that our oratory skills and persuasion will actually convince our opponent to change his mind?Rarely will an individual concede a point in a debate, and the more he is given proof he might be wrong, the more his mind seeks to justify and rationalize his point of view.  As he provides evidence and refutations, (however weak or flawed they might be) his perspective often becomes even more solidified in his own mind. You may also succeed in tearing apart his argument, but he will continue to fight solely because he feels attacked and backed into a corner. It’s almost impossible to have a debate and win. You can carry on a worthwhile debate if it’s to prove to the audience that your argument is logical, true and right. But if your purpose is to win your opponent to your thinking, a different approach will be needed. Often, two people get in a discussion about a subject and they spend hours haggling over the details. They are just wasting time. No matter if one of them is truly right, they aren’t going to reach an agreement. If you hold the correct point of view, you make it harder for your opponent to accept it if you back him into a corner. It’s hopeless, and even harmful to endlessly debate, as you will find you’re just obscuring his ability to think rationally. A better alternative: state your opinion and present your case. Then allow him freedom and space to process. In a less threatening environment, he may actually begin to see and understand the truth.