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Corporate Sales Training and Leadership Development

“Never argue with an IDIOT, first you have to stoop to his level & than he will beat you with his experience.”


I don’t know who said this but I think it is brilliant.  I have seen too many people spend energy fighting a person who’s brain is not going to fight logically with you.

What most people don’t realize is the toll your body actually takes when you move into an illogical argument.  Here are some of the things that happen:

1. What ever physical reaction you have to what the other person is saying (even if the reaction is only a 5 minute reaction) it stays in your body for eight hours.  So why give an illogical person eight hours of holding your body and brain hostage?  Not worth it.

2. Your emotional response escalates in proportion to the other person’s illogical response.  Pretty soon you have hawked your character and integrity over a discussion that will never render you any value.

So here is what I recommend you do instead.

1. Take a deep breath all the way to your toes and into the ground.  This will triggert your physical system and brain to remain calm.

2. Then let it go.  When a person fights you so hard illogically what they are really telling you is they have a high fear and they need to protect that fear.  Let them.  As long as they aren’t hurting someone.

If it is an argument with someone that you can’t walk away from (for example a family member) then expend your energy, not on sharing your viewpoint, but on asking them to share with you theirs.  I often find that as I move away from confrontation so do they.  Most of the time they even reverse their opinion without you ever having to point out the flaws in thinking.

And, hey, there are always those times when halfway through you realize the idiot isn’t the other person.  At those times it is nice to save face because you didn’t push your point so hard!

Leadership Development

September 23, 2010 at 1:00 CST


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