You-all know what? All of this underscores, heavily, the
obvious fact that people are all different. I personally
feel that I can't stand arguments--but on the other hand,
I can't stand it when people say things that are not correct. SO--if my husband says, for example, that
something happened at 3:00 and I say no, 4:00, HIS view of
that is that I am arguing with him. So in that sense, we
argue about what an argument is!
Each person has different "sore spots" and tolerance
levels. Some people do not mind being corrected in a very
forceful manner; others read more into the slightest hint
than was intended. I must reluctantly ackowledge also that
sometimes people deliberately try to cause hurt. This is
where each individual's ability must stand on its own, and
be able to decide: not to respond, to respond in kind, or
to respond at a higher level of civility.
Sometimes the recipient can be harmed when none was
intended. This also presents a choice: whether to let
their hurt be known, and in what manner. AND--whether the
hurt was intentional or not, if the person causing it
knows of the harm, one would hope a non-hurtful explanation
and apology would be forthcoming. Sometimes a simple,
"Oh, no, that wasn't what I meant at all" can work wonders.
There are also times when I have said, "If this upsets you,
I'm sorry, but the fact remains that...".
I guess my primary concern about arguments arises when
there are harsh feelings caused unnecessarily. If there
is a possibility of resolution, or near-resolution, I say
that it is worth working through hurt feelings in most cases. But arguing on and on about something that is not
going to be resolved, ever (ex.--if someone tried to argue
that I should get interested in politics!), is to me not only a thorough waste of time and energy that could be better spent elsewhere, but actually detrimental, and
should cease as soon as possible.
That said, I will add that I agree strongly with Jo, in
that it is extremely difficult to interpret a speaker's
intentions from printed words alone. The :-) faces can
help, but there just aren't the cues we get from seeing/hearing the other. I hope we can all allow for the
possibility that we may not be getting the writer's true meaning.
I would ask that everyone just do their best at not being antagonistic, and take into consideration the
importance/relevance(y?) of each situation. I myself
happen to be a good speller, and always notice if something is mis-spelled. But here, I see no point in commenting on this as long as I understand the meaning--I make the decision each time that considering the other's feelings has a higher priority than my discontent. If I see a mis-spelling on a store sign, I tell them. Different setting, different relevance, different response.
Peace, y'all! (She said in Atlantan.)