I had an experience the other night that reminded me of how I wanted to write about the importance of how we speak to each other. I am trying to collect my thoughts enough so as to actually make sense, as opposed to sounding like a rambling crazy person (which I know can happen easily with me).
I suppose I should start with what brought this to mind. I was conversing with a friend whose views differ greatly from mine. I have known for a couple of years that she wants to go to school for acupuncture and have therefor avoided volunteering my views (which are that it is not a thing). She asked me straight out what I thought the other night, so I answered. I was then laughed at for not believing in acupuncture or in qi energy. I have no problems with people I know believing things that differ from my beliefs. I hope to not be so derisive as to laugh at someone, no matter how ridiculous I consider the particular opinion. I think treating people with respect is important.
Now, to explore why….
Hmmm….Obviously treating people poorly will drive them away. Most folks do not enjoy being laughed at/condescended to/yelled at or any of the other disrespectful ways we treat people when we argue and debate. Driving away people that do not agree with you on a wide variety of topics would severely limit one’s social life. Pick the deal breakers. Though I would argue that even then being respectful is more productive.
Another big reason for me is that I am perfectly agreeable to the possibility of changing my mind. I almost always do research and check things out on my own after a conversation where someone disagrees with my information and I love it when that leads to my mind being changed, or at least to learning something new. Once someone is mean about it though, I stop listening. I want information! Pease do not give me an off topic reason to not be receptive to said information.
I guess these two are the biggest immediate thoughts in regards to personal discussions. Am I missing a big obvious thing? Or even, do you think positive results can come of negative conversations?
I have all sorts of other opinions about public discussions and debates, but I will save that for another time. At this time I am simply reminding myself to be kind in my personal connections.