Not up for debate.

A bit of self-analysis this morning.

I am not a debater.  I don’t like getting into arguments over things, I don’t like discussing in-depth merits of position A over B, and I generally steer clear of it.  (Why no, I don’t discuss politics.  Why do you ask?)  It’s not that I’m incapable.  I think it may stem from a history of being treated as though my thoughts and opinions have no worth.  (Think about THAT the next time you have someone you keep putting down in debates.)  If you challenge me, I’m very likely to stare at you blankly and say “Um… uh…”  I have learned to steer clear of people who assume that this means my position is indefensible.  It rarely is, I just Don’t Do Debates and I expect other people to be able to do their own research and think logically.

What I am is a data aggregator and analysis engine.  I’ll take data from everywhere I can, weigh merits and whether it Makes Sense, and go from there.  The closest I’ll come to debate is to throw an email at someone with links to assorted research and Google search terms, and my commentary on each.  If I’m in a pissy mood the email will consist of several linked articles with NO commentary from me.  If I’m going into a situation I have forewarning of, there’s a good chance it will be with a stack of printed citations in hand.  (This, by the way, is a good way to either delight or seriously piss off a doctor.  Depends on the doctor and how prone you are to hypochondria.)

I suppose this could technically be indicative of an ability to actually engage in debate, but in practice I freeze up.  I don’t hold the links and data in my head; that’s what libraries and the ‘Net are for.  I need those brain cells for processing, not storage.

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2 responses to “Not up for debate.”

  1. Lori says :

    Well said. I don’t debate either. The majority of people could beat me hands down in a debate, but that doesn’t make their stance any better than my own.

    • answeringbeforecoffee says :

      It seems to be a learned skill, but if you don’t have the knack for it — or a basic enjoyment of it — it’s very easy for others to run right over you. They then erroneously assume that that makes them correct, which of course it doesn’t… which, if they bothered to look at their own tactics, they would know. (Hence the steering clear of folks like that!)

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