A Great Way to Alientate or Even Lose Friends

I love this blog.  I love that I have a venue where I can really dig deep into my life experiences and try and extract out some kind of lesson or meaning.  I love that I get to do it with all of you…   And you all rock for reading this!

The topic of this post has been noodling around in my head for the last few weeks.  I think it was Robert Scoble’s latest post about the current economic situation and his assessment of the knowledge of those that disagree with him, which really caused me to put fingers to keyboard and start writing.

In my life, one thing that I’ve noticed is that its easy for me to talk or write without thinking first.  Plenty of times, I’ve said something that really didn’t do what I set out to accomplish.  I put my foot in my mouth.  I apologize, they forgive, and we move on.

I guess if I could offer one piece of advice… it’s really not a good idea to blurt out a statement like… [Fill In the Blank] is an idiot or [Fill in the Blank] sucked.

For example, it would not be a good idea to say something like “Anyone that didn’t support the economic bailout is a moron.” On the flip side, it would not be a good idea to say “Anyone that did support the economic bailout is a moron.”

What do you accomplish by starting the conversation this way????  You just cause division.  You make people uncomfortable.  Anyone that disagrees with you is going to have their guard up.  It’s going to be harder to connect with others in your group and learn from each other.

It’d be better to say… “I disagree with the bailout because of [Fill in the blank]” or “I support the bailout because of [Fill in the blank].”  This starts conversation and back and forth.   It allows us to learn and grow.

It doesn’t even have to be about politics, it could be about a move.  It’s not a good idea to say “that move sucked.”  What if I liked the movie?  Am I of less intelligence for liking the movie?  You should say, ” I didn’t like the movie because of [Fill in the blank].”

Someone of you will be like, “Justin, this is pretty basic stuff. Our mothers taught us this when we were 5.”  Well, I think especially around election time and politics, people tend to more easily stop thinking and start just communicating their emotions without thinking about what they’re trying to say… and as the title of the post says, you just end up alienating or losing your friends.

I’m not writing this to sound self-righteous.  I’m guilty of doing this too.  By confessing this to all of you, I hope you’ll keep my accountable.  And… I hope that I can save some of you from being in some of the uncomfortable situations that I’ve put myself in throughout life.

Have any stories?  What are times you’ve put your foot in your mouth or obviously said something you didn’t mean that caused division?

5 thoughts on “A Great Way to Alientate or Even Lose Friends”

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more, there’s an art to debating that all to frequently gets swept under the mat of emotional discourse, or as John McCain might say: Festooned with emotions. I do believe Nancy Pelosi might have benefitted from reading your blog prior to giving her speech on the bailout in the House.

  2. Agree. It doesn’t take much of what you’re describing to completely turn me off of a blog, radio show, tv show, twitter feed, etc..

  3. @Josh – thanks!

    @Chuck – yeah, me too. There are a few bloggers who are REALLY smart guys and know their trade really well but I don’t read them any more because they just gone off a few too many times.

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