“I know this really sexy move you can do with your mouth. It’s called shutting the f*ck up.”
– Tucker Max, Hilarity Ensues
You’re having a conversation, when someone says something infuriatingly inaccurate, disagreeable, or just plain stupid. We’ve all been in this situation and, at some point in our lives, have probably called the perpetrator out. Chances are, this turned out disastrously.
To quote Mark Twain: “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” I’ve seen perfectly civil adults explode with rage over differing opinions, I’ve been to parties and events that were ruined because of disagreements, and I’ve seen social circles collapse due to feuds. Even if somebody is dead wrong about something, you aren’t going to change their opinion. At best, you’ll just make them, and their friends, hate you. While I am in no way advocating being a push-over, I do think it’s best to overlook perspectives that bother you.
As I already mentioned, you can’t change anyone’s opinion. Never have I argued with someone, only to have them say: “Oh wait. You were right and I was wrong.” If you need more proof that drawing people to your view point is futile, look no further than the Spanish Inquisition. During the Spanish Inquisition, “heretics” were waterboarded, stretched on the rack, burnt at the stake, and tortured in a variety of other ways; yet many of the victims still would not convert. Their personal beliefs were so deeply ingrained that they’d rather be mutilated and massacred, than submit to ideology of others.
If medieval torture methods couldn’t “persuade” people to change their opinions, what makes you think your well constructed argument will?
The next time that someone spouts off an idiotic statement, don’t waste your time trying to correct them. Instead, simply ignore their nonsense. There’s no reason the supply the conversation with a second idiot.