Why your arguing is backfiring…

This week in Sunday Life I quit arguing

dont cry its only sunblock Why your arguing is backfiring...
via powrightbetweentheeyes

If I had my time again I wouldn’t have asked Dad’s permission to see Nightmare on Elm Street 4 when I was 15, thus spending the next five weeks arguing why he was wrong to say no. I would’ve just gone, like my friends did.

At a guess, I spent approximately 11/15ths of my teenage years arguing My Point to my parents. Which handed my five younger siblings incredible unscrutinsed freedom to do what they liked. They – wisely – took the line, that I only learned much later in life while working for Kerry Packer, “Don’t ask for permission, know how to beg for forgiveness”.

It’s an interesting point to explore right now. Because, frankly, everyone seems to be arguing to flaccid effect. If you’re not throwing the remote at journalist Andrew Bolt’s head on the telly, you’re throwing it at Dick Smith’s or Gwyneth Paltrow’s or Lord Monckton. And Federal politics has descended into a My Point-scoring scrum. One where the ball was lost long ago. It’s like we’re all standing in front of my dad. I say this, because my dad was supreme at not relenting to Another Point.

A Gen Zer asked me at a Coal Seam Gas rally the other day if there was any point to arguing. A Gen Yer wouldn’t have asked such a question. They’re the quintessential younger sibling in the equation (with Gen Zers a sort of second-rounds eldest child). I took on his question quite seriously (as Gen Xers do; we also still attend rallies) and this week explored it further.

Dispiritingly, a lot of the research dedicated to the topic finds arguing a point doesn’t work. Worse, it leads to what has been dubbed “The Backfire Effect” by US researchers.

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