Once upon a time, I got into a heated argument with an “idiot.”
I remember thinking to myself, “what an idiot this guy is” for not agreeing with my point and for debating in what I perceived to be such an unfair manner.
Then, an internal voice broke through and said, “If you’re genuinely convinced that the person you’re arguing with is an idiot, what does it say about YOU when YOU spend YOUR time debating someone YOU believe is an idiot?”
The question was so compelling that I knew I only had two options: 1) I needed to drop the conversation or risk being the very kind of idiot I despised or 2) If I wanted to continue my conversation without being a hypocrite, I needed to drop the assumption that the person I was voluntarily engaging was actually an idiot.
I decided to go with option #2. Surprisingly, the energy of the conversation completely turned around.
But at that point, it really didn’t matter what choice I went with. My life had already been permanently changed. I was free forever from feeling like I was stuck in unpleasant conversations with “idiots.”
I knew that I could never be the victim of anything other than my own choices and my own judgments.
Here’s today’s two cents on how you can quickly eliminate a significant percentage of unpleasant conversations from your life:
Stop thinking of people as idiots or stop voluntarily interacting with the people you insist on perceiving as idiots.
If you respect the person, respectfully engage them.
If not, terminate the conversation and move on.
Otherwise, you’re just asking for an opportunity to victimize yourself.
At least that’s the way I see it.