50 Reasons Not to Defend or Attack Points of View
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“Wise men don’t need to prove their point. Men who need to prove their point are not wise.” —Lao Tzu
“Speech which argues falls short of its aim.” —Chung Tzu
“And therefore it is said that one who argues does so because he cannot see certain points.” —Chung Tzu
- Are you so fragile that you cannot bear to have anyone think different than you?
- Are you so insecure about your experience that you have to have others agree to it in order to believe in it yourself?
- Can we love each other and think differently?
- Clearly, what we are arguing about is of little importance. Why then are we willing to hurt each other over it?
- Diversity, perspective, and variation are natural parts of life.
- Do you really want to relate only to people who see, think, feel, and remember as you do?
- Do you think it makes you lovable when you argue over things of little significance?
- I appreciate you letting me know what you think, I hope you are also interested in what I think.
- I do not need your permission to think and feel differently than you do.
- I have to be true to my experience and so do you, therefore, there is no value in arguing whose experience is right.
- I understand that you thought I meant that, but I intended a different meaning.
- If I do not do it perfectly, the right way, the most efficient way, your way–then what horrible magical thing are you predicting will happen to me?
- If I gave up my reality for you, then I would not be a real person and you wouldn’t like me for being so dependent.
- If it is more important for you to be right about our experience than my feelings, then we will not get along.
- If the goal is for me to give up my reality for your reality, then the goal is for me to give up my self for your self–a goal I have to reject.
- Is a war of words more important than a life of love?
- Is making your point more important than making peace?
- Is there really more pleasure in being right than in being loved?
- Isn’t it nice that we don’t all think alike!
- It is okay to have a strong point of view, but it is not okay to insist that I share it.
- My reality does not have to threaten your reality.
- Please allow me the time and space to experience life the way that I do. It will then naturally change.
- Please hear me out and make space for my views and I promise to do the same for you.
- Since everyone distorts their reality to protect their ego, it is quite silly to argue reality.
- Since no human can grasp all of reality about even one simple thing, isn’t it great that we have others to share different points of view with!?
- Since no one will care in a hundred years, why make a federal case out of it now and sacrifice our peace and harmony for nothing?
- Thank you for your opinion, but we are still free to believe as we see fit.
- There is no point in arguing reality as the only judge who can declare a winner, God, is not hearing the case.
- To argue memories of a situation is at best futile because people remember differently.
- We sure do get more out of life by having different perspectives to share–don’t we!?
- What catastrophe do you imagine is going to happen to you or us if we don’t agree to see things your way?
- What is more important, my feelings or your being right?
- What is so crucial about this unimportant event that you need to have the right reality regarding it?
- What is the worst thing that could happen if we agree to disagree about this?
- What is your primary concern here, to have the pride of being right or the joy of being loved?
- What price would I pay if I gave up my experience for yours?
- When we share realities it happens naturally and spontaneously and is great.
- When you care more about how I feel than the facts, I feel loved.
- Why are you so desperate to sacrifice peace and love for being right?
- Why do I have to give up my reality to be liked by you?
- Why do you find my having a different point of view so threatening?
- Why is it so important for you to be right and me to be wrong?
- You can be right or you can be happy.
- You can remember it differently, you have that right and so do I.
- You can think I said whatever you like and so can I.
- You cannot force someone to experience life the way you do.
- You have the right to remember it the way you want and so do I.
- You have the right to your reality and so do I.
- Your reality does not negate my reality.
- Your trying to make me have your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and memories instead of my own–only encourages me to rebel against you in many ways.
Quotations from Various Sources
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” —Proverbs 15:1
“Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
“Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, until thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.” —Matthew 5:25-26
“Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.” —Orson Card
“Be the change you seek.” —Mahatma Gandhi
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” —Dr. Seuss
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;” —I Peter 1:15
“Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.” —Spanish proverb
“Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.” —Psalms 28:3
“Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” —Proverbs 17:28
“Foolishness always results when the tongue outraces the brain.” —Unknown
“For if you give a person love and kindness when he does not by his actions merit it, he will see that you probably really love him.” —Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper, A Guide to Rational Living, Third Edition, p. 142
“I don’t have to attend every argument I’m invited to.” —Anonymous
“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” —Romans 12:18
“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” —Proverbs 16:24
“Some man holdeth his tongue, because he hath not to answer: and some keepeth silence, knowing his time.” —Ecclesiasticus 20:6
“The first duty of love is to listen.” —Paul Tillich, 1886-1965
“The most precious things in speech are pauses.” —Ralph Richardson
“There is nothing that so much gratifies an ill tongue as when it finds an angry heart.” —Thomas Fuller
“To show resentment at a reproach is to acknowledge that one may have deserved it.” —Tacitus
“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson