Reshaping your willingness to engage
Don't give your time to someone not approaching your with good intentions
This is particularly useful for online conversations. As most, or all of you already know, I write over on a site named Quora regarding psychopathy, and have been doing so since 2015. In that time I have learned very well what to bother with, and what to avoid. This was easier for me as I don’t get emotionally invested in the conversations, and I don’t get personally offended.
First, and example of what I mean. All typos in the quoted text are left for a factual representation of what was said. Any in my text, point them out and I will correct them with my thanks;
“Listen here fuck-o I have secondary psychopathy as well as schizoaffective disorder and every single fucking day of my life I wish I wasn’t a psychopath. My diagnosis is a part of me and I get that but I am absolutely not happy or proud of being “who I am” if I could avoid maniac breakdowns and that voice in my head that keeps making me do reckless shit I would,you have absolutely NO right to generalize or speak for every person diagnosed with psychopathy wether it be primary psychopathy or secondary psychopathy.”
“That is bull shit, my psychopathic ex was insecure about the way she looked, she was insecure when i talked to other females, she was also insecure i would get bored of her so instead of expressing herself how she wanted to she would be toxic. This was not apart of her mask, I can tell when a psychopath is being fake but this was genuinely how she felt. she is a diagnosed psychopath btw. So how can u say psychopaths don’t feel insecure.”
There is plenty in these comments that I could refute, provide evidence for my refutations, and counter, but I won’t. Why? Because these are not people arguing in good faith. They are already approaching the conversation with hostility, not an honest question. In the first example, the first sentence of my answer states;
“No primary psychopath will ever bemoan being a psychopath.”
There could not be anything clearer than that sentence in terms of who I am addressing in the answer. Instead of reading the relevant information and understanding who it is addressing, the person immediately takes offense and goes on offense. She has many things wrong in her comment overall, but none of that is worth my time to address, as she is not coming for a conversation, she is coming for an argument.
There is no room with either of these people to have a real back and forth. I am quite good at recognizing the signs of this, and not engaging. This is something that I cannot recommend enough to those of you that are prone to arguing with the faceless type on some website.
Seriously, don’t bother. They are never going to see what you might have in terms of evidence, they are never going to think that they are wrong, and the more you press them with information that counters their worldview, the more they will go after you personally. That doesn’t bother me at all, but misinformation annoys me. I remove it, because I am unwilling to allow people to get wrong information from beneath one of my answers, and then adopt it as fact.
I know emotions can tell you that the argument is worth your time, but it isn’t. It really isn’t, and the sooner you understand that, the better. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t read what the person thinks, or consider their ideas. Even on the rather abrupt comments I do this. Information that counters what you believe is important, but how the person approaches you is important as well.
I find a lot of people will try to be reasonable, try to discuss and hash out where they see things differently. They really believe that by doing this that the other person is going to meet them on that playing field. Some might, but this is rare. If they are coming at you out of the gate angry, and insulting, it isn’t going to get better. They aren’t interested in what you have to say, they are interested in you hearing and agreeing with what they believe.
Your time is valuable, and if you give it over to people that don’t respect it, you aren’t respecting it. You won’t look back on your life and be sad that you didn’t argue with that person that just had to prove you wrong about something. You aren’t even going to remember that they exist.
If you do remember that they exist, then there is something else going on. I will talk about that in my next piece where the discussion will be about the emotional investment you might have in an idea or ideology, versus the actual consideration of it. If you haven’t weighed out what you really think and tried to figure out why, if your beliefs are a matter of emotional feeling, rather than logical reasoning, you may well still linger on someone that challenged you.
If you are uncomfortable when someone disagrees with you, to the point that it eats away at your well being, it’s time to evaluate your point of view and see if it is legitimate, but that is for next time. For now, don’t give away your time unless the person receiving it actually treats it like the gift that it is. You only get so much, and when it is over, that might be all. The less time you spend sacrificing it to ridiculous people, the better spent your life is.