Recently I was in a verbal argument with another woman. I politely listened to her spew foul language, in an attempt to get her point across. As I attempted to counter point a few of the reasonable things she said, and was constantly interrupted, I politely pointed out that this conversation was going nowhere and that I was happy for her that she was so committed to believe in half truths, and then excused myself.
Then the calls of Punk bitch and coward rang out after me. I was tempted to turn around and tell her exactly how I felt. But I knew that this was not going to be a situation that I was going to be able to win with words. I knew that if I persisted to acknowledge this woman, that she would more than likely haul of and hit me. Of course then it would be on, but there were children in our presence and I decided to be the bigger man.
I was on the not so popular view side of the conversation. But I did have facts to back up my views. She too had facts, but the ones she brought forth were outdated, and at times, unintelligible.
We are not all spokesmen. We have not been trained to gracefully argue our points. We get frustrated and angry. We can cause ourselves to sound uneducated and ill-informed. When arguments get heated, we tend to forget our legitimate points, and fall to the side of name calling. We forget that we should be "the bigger man." There is no shame to walk away from a verbal assault. You are not a punk bitch, you are the victor of morals.
Of course, I could be saying all of this to justify my walking away. And that is a valid point. But not one I am arguing here.
We need to carefully watch our words as we speak. Our defense should be laid out carefully and without raising our voices. Why? Because those that are witnessing the arguments will ultimately be the judge. If you want to sway people to your side of things, litter your views with humor and calmly laid out facts. People are more willing to listen to some one that can keep their cool, that can debate without getting personal, that can walk away when the other person has gone off the deep end. Your job isn't to convince the person you are disagreeing with, your job is to convince those that are listening outside of the conversation.
Many people have forgotten what it means to take the high road. Many now see that to be the bigger person means that you hit harder. This is not what I wish to teach my children. Being polite in an argument doesn't make you come across as arrogant, only to the losing side does it feel that way. We should all remember that currently as preppers, we are not on the popular side of the argument. We need to remember that our views differ greatly from the world at large and that it doesn't bring more people around to our way of thinking when we scream, or curse or be the bigger man with physical confrontation. Even in this group, we don't all agree in our views, but we have found a way to argue our personal points without bashing each other over the head. Just remember that the next time an anonymous person, or an acquaintance tries to push you down, not to stoop to their level. Be the bigger man, and defend yourself, using your words.