Or like trying to bring someone around to your way of thinking by calling them an idiot? Usually an argument epic fail.
I suppose truth is best. Talking around the subject often gets you nowhere. Subtlety is often lost on the convoluted and subjective mind, mine included. We want to just say it. And that’s what gets us in trouble.
Truth is after all a rather fungible concept. It’s different for everyone. My truth is not your truth: it’s all mixed up with emotions and history and context. Our truths are like parallel universes: similar but not the same. That’s why dealing with the truth is so intriguing, and so volatile.
Not that you shouldn’t always seek the truth or use the truth to make things better as long as we remember they are not absolute.
We all want to be truth dealers. But I think if you want to be a good truth dealer you need to work on a few key things.
You need to understand there are lots of parts to any given truth, even more parts than you’re aware of. So knowing you don’t and can’t have all the parts of a given truth allows you more plasticity in your thinking.
You must acknowledge and accept that your target doesn’t have the same list of truth parts that you do. Taking inventory of this different truth parts allows you to see commonalities in your distinct truths. Common parts are a much better place to start dialog than the conflicting pieces are.
Don’t confuse facts with truth. Just like the truth you’ll never have all the facts. And we all interpret facts differently. You have to work with the knowledge you have in the moment. You can do nothing else. But knowing a fact could be hiding out there that derails your whole argument may make you more open. As Gandalf would say “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
And shoving “irrefutable facts” in someone’s face may be helpful in a court of law. Life is not a court of law. Using the tactics of a lawyer to address another outside of a courtroom has always baffled me. Everyone hates technicality mongering lawyers. It’s a really good way to put someone of the defensive. How not to win someone over: make them defensive. Check.
Lastly, taking the biggest piece of truth and bashing someone on the head with it rarely works as the first negotiating step, however clear and obvious it is. Yes, you need to be open and blunt sometimes, but starting with effects instead of causes can be a much better path toward enlightenment. Unless you’re dealing with a sociopath, most people will respond to an increased awareness of the effects of their behavior. Start small and work backwards.
And if you don’t agree with this, you’re an idiot.