So I got in an Internet Fight with somebody yesterday. A while back, I pledged that I’d stand up to ignorance more. That the Nightmare Clown is happening because weak people with heads full of bad ideas were just being left to rampage around and spread those ideas. Because it’s a pain in the ass to argue with people. But conflict management isn’t an internal strength for me.
So I’ve been arguing with these people. Yesterday was pretty typical: somebody who’s obviously been pulling all their thinking from talk radio. A childlike understanding of the world and the law. Lack of empathy bordering on comical.
Conflict management is not my forte.
This actually kept me up for a huge chunk of the night. Not just being riled up, but a couple of things in addition:
- First, I actually feel bad for the guy. There’s no moral fiber there, but a deep weakness that leads to accepting easy, angry answers to feel safe in an uncertain world. But this is a weak person lashing out, not a strong person. I could have been more compassionate. But being condescended to by somebody who doesn’t actually have any idea what they’re talking about is literally the button to push to get me pissed.
- Second, maybe there was an actual teaching moment there, and I blew it by being argumentative instead of explaining. Probably not. Again, when somebody is more interested in being ‘right’ than being human, there’s not much room there. But maybe there could have been some sort of way to punch through that kind of perpetual tantrum and reach a rational mind.
I’ll never know, obviously. Not being good at practicing compassion robbed me of a possible chance to do better. Conflict management, again, is not one of my strengths. Internal conflict management — not letting this stuff keep me up at night — is definitely not a strength.
So I’m glad that I’m at least not letting poison go unchecked. Annoyed with myself for not finding more ways to check the poison.