HOW DO YOU WIN ON A BATTLEFIELD OF IDEAS?

 

 

 

HOW DO YOU WIN ON A BATTLEFIELD OF IDEAS?

 

“In many wars, there is no winner. There’s simply those left standing when the shooting is done. In a war of ideas, the battlefield of ideas is seldom littered with broken bodies, but often littered with bruised egos, damaged pride and broken wills. Sadly, attrition is seldom accomplished by common sense, truth, facts or reality but rather is driven back by emotional bullies and illogical rhetoric. So how do you win a battle for ideas?” J Loren Norris

 

https://www.jlorennorris.com/podcast/how-do-you-win-on-a-battlefield-of-ideas

 

1. KEEP YOUR PEACE AND WITS - STAY CALM

 

In the heat of face to face conversations, social media confrontations and Twitter wars, emotions will rise quickly. Emotions will sway a conversation into a “fight or flight” way of “thinking“, acting and responding. There is a reason professional soldiers, athletes, pilots, fire fighters and medical professionals are trained so extensively in responding under pressure. The pressures of a moment of life and death danger cause the brain to revert to subconscious thought not conscious thought. Meaning, when a human is in a tense situation, they will act, react and respond physically and verbally without rational thinking. If you have been well trained and reflexively act in a proper manner that is good. If you are not trained for the moment, emotion will kick in and cause responses which you normally make effort to control become your natural response, for better or for worse.

 

Stay calm so you can think and use your logical brain not your emotions to make choices.

 

2. KNOW YOUR FACTS, YOUR DATA, THE MOST COMMONLY ACCEPTED TRUTH

 

One challenge with society today is the manipulation of the data. 99% of statics lie... Is that truth, fact, reality or opinion? See the problem? Because of the manipulation of data, the rewriting of history, the misuse of statistic and the emotional rhetoric inserted into most ideological arguments, finding commonly accepted truth is a daunting task. However, you will never win on the battlefield of ideas if “your truth” is not acceptable truth to the other side. Quoting sources they deem suspect is not only not productive, it is counterproductive. According to existing confirmation bias, you have simply proved their point further that you know nothing but what you have been told by people who are lying to you. (Probably the exact point of contention... you believe the same about them.) Look for common ground in your research. When possible, use the same sources they use and respect.

 

Build rapport by connecting with shared emotions, but speak logically with the most reliable facts.

 

3. BE PATIENT

 

Try to avoid irrational and emotional arguments with uninformed people. As the old adage says, “Don’t argue with an idiot. They will simply bring you down to their level of logic and beat you with experience.” If you allow your emotions or your passion to prove your point to drive the conversation, you will internally be driven by the anxiety to win right now at all costs. Then you have lost. The universe is not dependent on your defense. Gravity will not bow to emotions. No amount or intensity of protest will cause the sun to rise in the north. The ebb and flow of life always has and always will experience cleansing, evolution and change with the pangs of childbirth. Maintaining the position of truth and common sense may be your call, your responsibility and your birthright, but truth needs acknowledgement not defense. The moment might seem critical. The circumstance might feel dire. The sense of urgency for resolution may weigh heavy and immediate on your soul. But stand your ground and when the time is right, the tide will turn.

 

Buoys float. Anchors hold the ship. Neither control the storm, they simply hold on until it has passed.

 

4. BE PERSISTENT - CONSISTENT - RELIABLE

 

Many people find themselves on the wrong side of an argument - usually long after the argument is over. The knee jerk reactions, emotionally charged responses and mob pressured recitations are seldom the end of the debate. When you have remained calm, done your due diligence, and waited for the dust to settle, the clarity of the issue will become more evident. If you were successful in your due diligence, your previous conclusions should hold true and be much more reflected in the common ground eventually agreed on.

 

If you followed all three steps above, you have likely found the peace of knowing the truth has been revealed after all the lies were exposed and the emotional hype has waned. If on the other hand, you skipped one of those steps, or all of them and allowed your opinion to be swayed in the heat of the moment, there will be a day of reckoning, whether personal and private or publicly pronounced. Truth is in no hurry. People are the ones who rush to make judgements.

 

This battle was here before you came along and will remain long after you’re gone. The best you can hope for is to own fully and hold firmly the slivers of truth you choose to live by and stand your ground in the storms of life.

 

Remain confident in this: the truth always wins eventually and this battle of ideas is an infinite game.