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scrottie (4167)

scrottie
  scott@slowass.net
http://slowass.net/

My email address is scott@slowass.net. Spam me harder! *moan*

Journal of scrottie (4167)

Monday May 19, 2008
04:49 PM

Advice to a friend on shutting up and listening

[ #36470 ]

I disconnected you so you'd shut up for a moment and process what you were
told. Even that wasn't adequate, apparently. I'm not saying this to be
mean -- and I've said this before in other ways -- but you're not going
to go far in this world -- dating, in jobs, with friends -- anything --
unless you develop the ability to _listen_ to what people said and
_demonstrate_ that you heard them. If either don't respond or turn around
with something that dismisses it, the message is "I don't care what you
think". Of *course* you have your own opinions and ideas. You don't
need to respond immediately with a demonstration of it to prove it.
You need to recognize absolutes in statements. When you're dating
and your girlfriend says that absolutely under no condition should
she ever find you naked with another girl, you don't turn around and
say "yeah but". _Do not_. Absolute. I'm sure you're smart and
clever enough to think of a situation where this might happen where
it isn't your fault, and you _could_ argue this point, but you do not.
You refrain from. People use less strong words but mean the same thing --
the subtext is "I require this amount of respect from you or you've
crossed a line". I cross a lot of lines; you don't realize it, but
you do too. Just now, you crossed one with me. I'm not angry and
I'm not hurt because I know it wasn't directed at me, but I'm not
letting it slip either. Most people let these slip and then just
decide not to have anything to do with you -- again, in dating,
jobs, friendships, and so on.

Let's recap. I had told you not to argue advice from qualified
friends with stuff form the Internet just as you wouldn't argue
with your doctor using material on the Internet as a source because
the stuff on the Internet is for *someone* whereas what your
doctor says is for *you*.

You immediately argued the point, saying essentially that you
take everything into consideration.

This is the Slashdot style of arguing -- there's always an
exception, a counter example, a reason against -- but the only
motive for searching for them is to intentionally miss the point
and keep an argument alive forever. In the spirit of learning
and then getting things done, I like arguments that are *not*
kept alive forever or argued for the sake of it. I do not
enjoy these. You don't have to agree with what other people
insist upon, but you do have to demonstrate respect for those
things they insist upon.

The difference is intention -- people can _tell_ whether you're _trying_ to understand them and their needs so that you can look out for them or whether you're smacking them down so you have an excuse for not. Too many nerds subscribe to the Slashdot School of Arguing, which is also the Politics School of Arguing, which is about winning, or not losing, or drawing it out to delay any ending at all. That's not an honest, sincere attempt to communication and establishing mutual respect that's needed for consensual relationships like friendships, jobs, and dating. You can't browbeat people into being your friend, you can't browbeat employers into hiring you, and you can't browbeat women into liking you. (Last paragraph added for here.)

-scott

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