I hate debating. Always have and maybe always will. I spent most of my life never speaking up or saying what I felt for fear of someone arguing with me or discrediting what I said. It happened a few times throughout high school and college so I just learned to stop raising my hand or joining in on things. Even with friends a lot of times I won’t speak up if I disagree with something (though more recently that’s changed).
And here we are today in the modern age of social media where anyone can express their opinion at any time. I make a pretty concerned effort not to post anything even remotely controversial or that someone could potentially argue with. Not because I don’t think I have a valid point of view but most of the time, I just don’t want to deal with it. But sometimes, especially with recent events, I get tired from everyone else getting to express their opinion meanwhile I’m suppressing my own, so sometimes I have to let it out.
Sometimes I think ignorance is bliss and I should just get off social media altogether so I don’t get irritated with stuff I read or feel compelled to share my opinion…or to not give myself the option of speaking up and being shut down. But that’s also no way to live life. Never hearing someone else’s opinion, no matter how wrong you think it might be. We can all learn from each other (well some of us can anyway). When you think about though, the main reason we get into arguments or debates with each other is just to prove we’re right anyway. It’s kind of self-serving. I’ve yet to hear a debate where someone went “wow thanks, you totally changed my mind on that.” We care about the things that interest us or serve our individual needs. That’s just the way our society operates.
It’s only been fairly recently though that I’ve realized the deeper reason for my not liking to speak up or debate. Because I was born with a disability, I’m not able to do a lot of physical things. I was never going to be good at sports of any kind. I was never going to be a participant in the X Games. The only thing I feel like I have to rely on is my brain. I can be smart. I can try to learn and be knowledge and maybe that’ll make up for what I lack physically. So for me, when someone argues with my point of view, I take it as discrediting my smarts or my knowledge. I realize logically that’s not the case and that the majority of the time, it’s not meant to be a personal attack. I feel like I’m a fairly well informed person. I could always do more research and more reading but I’m certainly no dummy. But argument to me equals my being dumb. And when the one thing I really have to cling onto is discredited, it’s hard for me. I also know in a lot of cases, like I was saying above, I’m not going to change people’s minds. No matter how many facts or studies I can find to support my argument if I choose to engage, it’s probably not going to change anyone’s mind. And I don’t want to talk until I’m blue in the face trying to prove to someone else that I’m right. It’s exhausting. I get all worked up and sometimes I even lose sleep over it. So the whole endeavor feels fruitless.
It goes back to not caring what people think I guess. I still don’t plan on speaking up much still but I also can’t let other people control how I feel about myself. The only thing I need to know is that I’m smart no matter what anyone else might say or do. I’m the one allowing myself to feel stupid when someone debates something I say. That’s no one else’s fault. There’s no doubt I take way too much personally in life. My sensitivity is one of my best qualities I think but sometimes it can also be my worst enemy.
I also need to change my perspective on my lack of ability to do physical things. Just because I’m never going to run a marathon or win medals for sports doesn’t mean the only thing I have going for me is my brain (however large or small it may be lol). I think I need to stop clinging so much to the idea that I have to be good at one thing to compensate for my lack in another area. Everyone is good at some things and not good at others, disability or otherwise.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to a point where I like debating or where I don’t take it at least a little bit personally but at least now I understand where it comes from. And that ladies and gentleman, is why I would make a terrible lawyer and politician. But hey, if Donald Trump can get this far, then you never know 😉