Serena Simmons Consultant Psychologist

Change. Motivate. Adapt. Improve. Perform

You can’t fight stupid…

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Have you ever found yourself in a conversation with someone, whereby the longer you stay in the conversation, the more irritated and annoyed you become.

You can feel your blood begin to boil as you try and reason and try hard to have the other person just understand your point of view.

You find that the more the conversation progresses the more they seem to argue with you, finding their own warped sense of logic…their own bizarre and inaccurate view of what you are saying and their own rationale that seems to indicate that not only have they not listened to you at all, but they are now trying to get you to see their point of view which is oh so much more important than anything you were saying anyway!

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Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

– Know what battles are worth fighting –

I felt like this only this week after I had emailed someone with a query.

Instead of just answering my question, and thus trusting that I would only be asking this question as I had obviously exhausted all other avenues.  That there was a good reason for even asking this question in the first place; this person instead made a personal dig about the fact that I has asked this question, and wrote that I should have already known the answer!

A rage engulfed me and I felt my brow get hot and I can tell you that a couple of choice swear words were muttered not too quietly.  I set to and replied stating that I had indeed found his reply rude and that I was only asking because of a particular set of circumstances, of which he had not been privy to.

He responded by saying that he had ‘not been rude, but had possibly been terse’, and then proceeded yet again to tell me why I should have known this.

At this point I could feel a big bubble of anger brewing in my belly and started to bang away at the keyboard writing an explanation for why he would have had no idea about why I needed to ask this god forsaken question but that I needed to berudgingly ask because……

…I stopped.

I paused..my fingers hovered above the keyboard.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

I deleted what I had written

I had realised that this was a battle that I was not interested in fighting.

This place I was in felt very familiar.  I had been here before.  Just like the place I described here at the beginning of this piece, I realised I was in that place where I would end up going back and fourth with this person as I desperately tried get to get them to hear my story.

I knew I would end up trying to explain everything so that I would be understood, to be heard.  But as I was momentarily fixated on this, I realised one very important thing…it didn’t actually matter.

It didn’t matter because I knew already that not only did this person already have their fixed view, but much more importantly when I really looked at the situation (which in real time was only a few minutes), I realised I didn’t actually care what he thought when push came to shove.  That even if I had gone on to ‘fight my corner’ it was not a battle I was actually interested in fighting.

My energy was needed for things that really meant something to me.  It was time I didn’t have.  Getting him to see what I meant would achieve nothing and, as I always advise others, ‘you can’t fight stupid’.

Stupid has its own logic, and stupid isn’t interested in knowing anything else, other than having you come over to stupids way of thinking which is selfish, illogical, safe and often small minded.

So this week I invite you to look at the battles you choose to fight everyday, and to ask yourself which battles are actually worth fighting?

Some are definitely worth it.

I want to ‘fight’ against the tide of racism..

of animal cruelty..

of homophobia..

for refugees..

to help fight the battles for beings who are too weak to fight for for themselves..

 I will choose how I fight these battles whether it be through compassion, education or listening.  But I am not interested in ‘fighting stupid’ when stupid might be a person writing self important email. When stupid is someone who is name calling.  When stupid is someone being hateful, just to make themselves feel better.

No, those battles are not worth my energy and are not important to me.  They are not who I am…I have too many other things in my life that really deserve my energy.  I am doing bigger and better things and I’m sure you do to!

So to end, and in the wonderful words of Mark Twain…

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience”

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Till next week!

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