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Argument versus Discussion

I came to IN, like most of us, to connect with people from different cultures and gain new experiences. I thoroughly enjoy hearing what others have to say about the world we live in. I have been humbled and educated about many topics of discussion which has increased my tolerance and understanding. Unfortunately, many of the threads I visit seem to have one or two individuals who do not clearly understand how to communicate effectively with others. As a consequence, I have provided a rudimentary "Argument versus Discussion" set of guidelines. For those most savvy among us I apologize for insulting your intelligence. However, this information may provide guidance for the loose cannons we have perpetrating the threads.

Argument or Discussion?
When having an argument we treat people as opponents to be defeated.
When having a discussion we treat people as partners in a problem-solving session.

When having an argument we draw sides, defend our own positions and attack the opposition.
When having a discussion we share ideas, consider alternatives and evaluate the pros and cons.

When having an argument if we listen at all, we do so only to find the weaknesses in the other person's reasoning.
When having a discussion we listen to other people's thoughts and explore ideas we haven't previously considered.

When having an argument we are not open to new ideas or the possibility of changing our opinions.
When having a discussion we learn more about the issue, about what we think and feel and about each other's values.

When having an argument we want to prove the superiority of our side and the weakness of the other side.
When having a discussion we seek people's support, not the their resentful silence.

When having an argument even when we "win" we usually do so by losing a potential ally
When having a discussion we may passionately disagree with each other but mutual respect keeps the discussion civil.

I'm very interested in you sharing your "discussion" experiences and hope that you can provide input and guidance so that we may continue to enjoy each other's valued points of view without the need for arbitration.

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