The last word isn’t valuable

So, I’ve seen this play out in a lot of blogs:

  • Someone says something controversial
  • Someone gets angry, and trashes their post
  • This goes back and forth for a long time
  • Neither side actually wants to talk to the other
  • (And they may both repeatedly tell one another to stop replying)
  • But both sides keep replying, because they want to get the last word
  • And they feel like if they let something go without a response, they’ve lost somehow

Thing is, the last word isn’t actually valuable. It doesn’t matter who replies last. It matters what’s true. If you’re right, you’re right whether or not you respond to what people say to you. If you’re wrong, replying one more time won’t make you any less wrong.

Chasing the last word just fills up your blog with views you don’t want on it, and fills up your attention with people you don’t actually want to talk to.

You can have much better conversations on your blog if you focus on talking to people you want to talk to. When you talk to people you respect who respect you, and when you listen to one another seriously, you can have amazing conversations.

This doesn’t mean form an echo chamber. This doesn’t mean only reblog people who think exactly like you. You can have very worthwhile interactions with people who disagree with you, even on really important things. That’s only possible if you’re both listening to one another and considering the points seriously, though. 

Instead of chasing the last word, chase content.

Arguing isn’t always ok

… If someone acts defensive and argues when you criticize them for touching you, and from then on is very careful not to touch you, then they’re just nervous and don’t like criticism. That’s fine. The problem would be if they really act as if they have a right to touch you after you’ve asked them not to. Or actually the problem would be if they keep doing it, for whatever reason.
realsocialskills said:
I don’t think it is at all ok to be that resistant to criticism.
Sometimes it’s ok and right to argue if you think someone is misjudging you, but it’s not ok to have that be your default response every time someone says no to you.
Especially when what they are saying is along the lines of “I don’t like being touched that way, please stop.”
It’s not ok to resist that kind of thing, and it’s especially not ok to try to get them to back down by arguing about it. People have the right not to want to be touched. People who don’t understand this and put pressure on others to accept touch from them are dangerous.
It’s definitely better to argue and then respect the boundary from then on than it is to not stop at all. But that doesn’t mean the arguing was ok to begin with. (Everyone makes mistakes, and if you find that you have argued in a boundary-violating way, the first step is to apologize.)
It’s ok that sometimes things hurt to hear; it’s not ok to try to make that hurt go away by arguing or otherwise putting pressure on someone to let you do what you want to them. It’s ok to be nervous or uncomfortable about criticism; it’s not ok to pressure someone else into making you feel better by doing what you wanted.
It can be hard to learn to hear no when you really want someone to say yes, it can be hard to learn to respect that and not push someone into something they don’t want, but it’s really, really important.