My final point on arguing brings back a topic I talked about earlier last month. Listening. I believe one of the hardest things about arguing (or we can use the nicer term ‘debating’, as someone mentioned last week), is the necessity to listen to an opposing viewpoint.
I am usually guilty of cutting someone off during the course of the argument. Usually this is because I believe I foresee where they are going with their point, and I already am thinking of a rebuttal. Rather than wait for their whole discourse, I cut them off with my own thoughts.
Again, this is ineffective from the standpoint of trying to understand the other person. Cutting someone off mid-sentence gives them the impression they are less important to you than ‘winning’ the debate. Often, I am incorrect in my assumption of where the other person is leading with their point, and because I cut them off, I never heard the whole argument. Lastly, its just bad practice to spend your time thinking of a rebuttal instead of really tuning into what your conversational partner is saying.
I think all three points as to why arguing is difficult can be overcome by constantly turning our focus away from our own ego’s, and instead concentrating on understanding the other person.