Stop spending so much of your time and energy trying to convince others about what you believe or your point of
view. It is a waste of time, energy and rarely accomplishes much except to get the other person mad. The best example of this is to turn on an evening talk show on one of the news networks. There you will see the greatest example of a Dale Carnegie quote: “Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.”xiv
Many of us have never learned the true concept of communication. We are constantly trying to convince and persuade others to adopt our beliefs or point of view. We argue, many times, simply to win an argument. Usually we even forget what we are arguing about, but we know we must win. This type of behavior causes stress and takes energy we could be using on many different activities.
We live in a world of differing viewpoints. That will never change. What can change is our attitude and response to other people. We can help other people much more, by simply listening to them, than by trying to convince them of something. Even if we know we are right, by simply letting someone get their own point of view across, they begin to realize their own flawed thinking. There are many times when just letting someone else speak is extremely worthwhile.
If we try to argue with them, they begin to see us as a threat and become determined to win an argument rather than
have a discussion. They begin to see the conversation as a battle that must be won, rather than a chance to look at
their own beliefs. It is our responsibility to listen to others. Many people in the world are lost. They need someone to listen to them, so that they can begin to find their way.
Stop trying to win arguments! Very rarely will that help people understand and accept the truth. Many times, it will push people away from the truth permanently.
Instead of trying to “win” arguments, accept and acknowledge that everyone has a different point of view and that being born with freedom, we are entitled to that point of view. An argument or disagreement can usually be diffused by acknowledging the other point of view, even if the other person is wrong and/or you completely disagree. It is true that, “where we stand depends on where we sit,”xv meaning that our particular opinion or view of a situation or set of circumstances is directly related to the frame of mind we are viewing it from. We almost always view the world and what is happening in it according to our own life experiences. The next time somebody says something that makes you angry or upset (you probably won’t have to wait long), remember that their unique experiences may have brought them to this point. Just listen and don’t try to persuade them to accept your point of view. Not only will you learn to develop patience, but you will also have a much better chance of them eventually looking at you and your life as an example.
Rather than wasting your valuable time, energy and resources trying to convince others about something, I have found that, if you are living correctly, it is much better and easier to set your own life as an example for people to watch and follow.
Michael at R2W
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