Have you ever noticed that arguments are rarely “won?” Even if you think you won an argument, what did you win? If there really is a loser, he at least learned something, right? What did you get? Ego satisfaction, debating practice, and diminished mind power.
Arguing Diminishes Mind Power?
There are times when things need to be debated, but most of the time, it really isn’t productive. Do you want to argue the point? What do you get from a useless debate, and more importantly, what do you lose?
One thing is certain. A person listening to arguments can learn something from both sides, but what about the participants? If your opponent makes a really good point, do you say, “Hey, you’re right!” or do you more often just look for a better argument?
Arguing too much gets you in the habit of looking for arguments more than for truth. You also get deeper into your thinking ruts the more you defend a position. In a rut and ignoring the truth? If that doesn’t sound like it’s good for mind power, it’s because it isn’t.
Mind Power From Listening
If you say the moon is closer, and I say the sun is, one of us has to be right. If you say nurture is more important, and I say nature is, we’re both right. The first argument has clearly defined terms. This isn’t common, and even here, what’s the point of arguing?
In the second example, our arguments have to do with values and experiences. We’ve seen different things in life, and we could spend a lifetime defining “important,” or I could shut up and listen. My mind becomes more powerful with the addition of your ideas and knowledge. Listening is the better way.
To break the habit of arguing, purposely ask for peoples opinions, and listen without saying anything. You can ask them to clarify, but don’t offer one contrary idea. Do this enough, and you’ll be surprized how much you learn. Some of us are also surprized by how difficult this simple technique can be, but it works.