35@35 #15: Arguing

loving divorceTC's Rules and Principles for Life #15: "Never argue with people who aren't listening." You ever get into an argument with somebody who just refuses to see any logic or reasoning whatsoever?

You get increasingly frustrated, annoyed and angry and then you leave in a huff having a terrible mood.

I'm going to help you stop losing those arguments. You ready? Here you go: stop having them.

Seriously. Have you ever resolved anything by getting loud or belligerent, or harsher?

Here's what you're doing - harming a relationship in the hopes of being told you're right.

But guess what you hate doing for somebody who you don't have a good relationship with? Admitting they're right.

So you're creating an impossible situation. "I'm making you angry, now admit I'm right!"

If you find yourself in this situation, the best thing to do is stop arguing. And then stop getting into arguments.

Conversations? Discussions? Great. But not arguments.

If there's somebody in your life with whom you cannot converse without it becoming an argument, then stop getting into conversations until you have fixed the underlying relationship problem.

Here's how the Bible says it in Proverbs 26:4: "Don't answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are."

You will not change another person through arguing. You might change them through love and mercy and grace and acceptance.

I often relay the quote from Martin Luther King Jr: "Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."

When people stop shouting at one another, it creates space for relationship to form, and genuine relationship fixes a lot of problems.


35@35 is a blog series by Thomas Christianson which involves 35 blog posts in 2014 on 35 things he has learned at the age of 35.

OUTRAGED: a note to people who don't agree with me



Man! Can you believe that thing that just happened? Where that person said that thing!? And then those people responding to that thing said such stupid stuff?? I AM OUTRAGED BY WHAT THOSE PEOPLE SAID!!

EVERYBODY on my facebook is talking about it.

It was about a new piece of legislation.

Actually, I’m pretty sure it was about the Methodist minister who just got defrocked.

Or wait, maybe it was the comments by the Duck Dynasty guy.

No, I’m sorry. It was totally the Chick Fil-a owners comments.

Anyway, it was one of those things, or something similar to that.

I’m trying to tell everybody what they should think, but they don’t seem to be listening to me no matter HOW LOUD I GET ABOUT IT.

I just don’t know what’s wrong with some people.

I mean, screaming at people is just how we’re supposed to deal with issues. That’s how politicians do it through the media. If you watch any TV cable news, they’re going to have multiple talking heads yelling at one another.

Because that’s the only way we can reach resolution: by smashing the other side to bits.

If you show a willingness to actually discuss a topic and validate the fact that other people have value whether you agree with them or not, that shows weakness, and nobody wants to hear what a weak person has to say.

Aristotle was 100% wrong when he said “it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” He SHOULD have said “people who don’t agree with me must be BLASTED ON FACEBOOK.”

Meek people never inherit anything.

Peacemakers are compromisers and should be ignored.

Mercy is is the ultimate sign that you don’t have any true convictions.

I know Jesus talks about those things in Matthew 5, but that must be one of those ‘non-literal’ parts of the Bible.

I like the part where Jesus makes a whip and runs a bunch of people out of the temple. I can't remember why he did that, I just like it.

So I’m going to keep arguing and yelling at people until they agree with me. I’ll never stop, because that would be abandoning my principles.

I’m sure you agree with me.

And if you don’t: