About the Wiser Next Week Series: These entries will involve posting my book, Wiser Next Week, chapter by chapter, freely available to the public. Additionally, I’ll be recounting a story about something I’ve learned based on the chapter’s topic since the months that have past when the book was published in December 2018.
A Battle of Words
When I was I in high school I had my first ever debate. It was my senior year and it would be me and four of my classmates against 4 other students.
We had time to prepare and line up our arguments before being allowed to have at it. My part was preparing a rebuttal while my teammates prepared the opening argument.
While the opposing side was presenting their main argument, I was busy taking notes preparing the counter argument. By the end of the opposing segment I had a lot of good stuff prepared and was ready to hose them down.
Bash Them To Pieces
I stood up to the podium and fired the big guns,
Ryan said this but… Ryan made this point but…
And on and on I went. As I continued, Ryan began to smirk.
I was outraged! I was not merely picking apart his argument, I was utterly filleting it piece by piece to make him scream in agony and now he has the audacity to laugh?
This is madness (not Sparta)!
I doubled down on my efforts to put Ryan in his place to no avail. In the end I was really hot under the collar as the 8 of us returned to our seats.
One of my teammates tapped me on the shoulder and said,
“You know his name is Brian right?”
I forgot this was towards the end of the school year.
How to Disarm Your Opponents
This was a debate section of our English class and I failed to recognize a saving effort once I knew I was wrong:
If it is found that you are mistaken, it is better to learn self-criticism rather than hear condemnation from others. Admit all your faults before the other person has a chance to point them out, this takes the fight out of them.
I said nothing and pretended I didn’t make any mistakes and carried on with my business. An obvious error, I still wonder to this day if anyone was listening to the points I was making or wondering why I still didn’t know my classmates name at the tailed of the school year.
Sometimes clamping down on your own problems is easier then letting others make a big to do about it. Own up and move on.
Here is the “On Relations with Others“ chapter of Wiser Next Week. Take it and implement it into your own life.