|The stupid question is the question not asked|
Re^2: What is "aggressive" argument?by pemungkah (Priest)
|on Nov 16, 2010 at 03:14 UTC||Need Help??|
BrowserUK - my take on an online discussion is that when someone heads into what feels to me as a personal attack (and that can vary wildly from day to day, depending on phase of the moon, amount of sleep, and coffee intake). it's time for me to say "We seem to have stopped talking about the actual subject here; I think I'll stop now" and then really stop talking to them about that subject.
Once an argument has moved away from "I think this point is wrong", or "I think you have a mistaken assumption, here's what it is, and here's why I think so" on either side to the logical equivalent of "YOU SUX0R", it's over - there's no longer an argument that can be won or lost. Person A is talking about their opinion of person B, and opinions are neither provable or disprovable; they just are what they are.
"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent", and that includes verbal and emotional violence.
Please note that I do not mean you are incompetent!
I mean "I think this is a mistake you are making that makes you look bad, and I think you're a lot smarter than that."
Having read and upvoted many of your posts, I know you are smarter than that - there's no question in my mind about it. It's just a matter of spotting the point of no return faster, and being willing to say, "Bored now. Done." and walk away, no matter what the other person may fire after you.
The temptation to respond is always very large. But not doing so after your polite termination of the discussion - "We're not talking about the subject anymore, but about me, so I think I'll stop now" - will mark you as someone wise enough to not waste his time on something that will be fruitless, pointless, and lead only to bad feelings on both sides - and makes the argumentative person look like the incompetent.
If you politely stop talking after saying the truth, then you're done. If the other person really wants to talk about the subject and just got overheated, then that's their chance to cool off, back down, (maybe) apologize, and resume talking about the actual subject. Otherwise, you look good, polite, and mature, and they look dumb.
Which is a far better result than any argument could achieve.