I wrote a post yesterday (Dating Advice Books) that didn’t garner much debate… at least not on my blog. I was hoping someone would comment that they wouldn’t feel manipulated, knowing someone had consumed all these “how-to” guides about finding and keeping a mate. But that didn’t really happen.
As some of you know, I love to debate. Vigorously.
However, it’s a life long lesson of mine to remember that not everyone else does. I can be rather, um, passionate. Some people feel interrogated or bullied. They don’t like being questioned or discussing contradictory views. Or they can’t be bothered.
Ideas and opinions are amazing things…even more so, when they are fluid instead of unyielding. One of the things I truly value is being in a place (intellectual and physical) where people can disagree and debate. I also fundamentally believe in the importance of growing as a human being, which means I believe my opinions should change over time.
Because of that, regardless of the intensity of the debate, I listen quite closely to what people say, and am very willing to say “yes, that’s a good point…that alters my opinion”. I LOVE it when that happens, because I feel like I end up with a more refined view.
I live in a world of grey. Which is also why I hated those OK Cupid questions.
But anyway…back to my post.
Today, a reader told me they thought my post was judgmental. I clarified what I was being judgmental about:
- That woman is beautiful, smart, a business owner, etc.
- She’s come to believe that she should be something she’s not, in order to “keep” a man, so she now engages in a lot of artificial rules and games.
- But the irony is, it hasn’t worked.
- She’s lost her self confidence, which I think is sad.
- It would be great if our focus could be on accepting ourselves for who we are, understand others point of views, and how men and women are different.
- But there is a massive amount of literature that reinforces our fears and insecurities.
The topic could be a whole post in itself, which is why I didn’t include it. But our discussion got me thinking about being judged for being judgmental.
I seek to understand and be understood. I am curious about ideas and opinions. Rarely judgmental about them. [Notable exceptions would be: people who don’t believe in the fundamental equality of all human beings and who don’t believe in the damage humans have done to the planet and the creatures we share it with.]
Obviously, that doesn’t always come across as such. You may have a different reaction to me if I was sitting across from you, glass of wine in hand. In the virtual world, you can’t hear my intonation, see my smile, know when I’m joking and when I’m gently inquiring. It’s all flat. My writing capability is probably not good enough to do any better.
I like to know why someone has a different opinion than I do. I will often ask a question a different way, or probe deeper, to understand where my opinions differ. I will push to an extreme example to see where their opinion changes. It’s all about understanding.
It’s my curious nature…
…and we all know the saying about what happened to the curious cat.
Making it personal, however, is off-limits. I try not to make the idea and the person equivalent. There are lots of bad ideas, decisions, and actions, but way fewer bad people.
But on the other hand, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck…
Perhaps that’s a discussion for another day.
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