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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Art of Practicing Polite Disagreement

   
Author Topic: The Art of Practicing Polite Disagreement
Shan
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Since I need the practice as much as anyone . . .

Let's start a new game . . . let's see who can disagree with the premise or idea stated in the absolutely most polite way possible.

We'll allow one page per statement and ensuing polite disagreement. Each page can be a new experience.

Folks can disagree with the original statement or each other's astonishingly polite repudiations using fact, fiction, logic, illogic . . . doesn't matter -- as long as you're courteous. Savvy?

How about if we start by politely disagreeing with this fabulous idea. [Wink]

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LargeTuna
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While I agree with the premise, I'm not sure this is a practical idea, as mayhem and violent arguments could ensue. But I ineed respect your opinion and hope you live a long and prosperous life.
(did it work?)

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Shan
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Oh, that was beautiful, LT. [Smile]

However, I feel I must point out that the age old maxim of "practice makes perfect" might apply quite readily to the current concerns this community is expressing with regards to it's communication style.

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by LargeTuna:
While I agree with the premise, I'm not sure this is a practical idea, as mayhem and violent arguments could ensue. But I ineed respect your opinion and hope you live a long and prosperous life.
(did it work?)

While I respect the attempt, I must say it felt a bit over the top to me. Respect need not cause sugar highs. [Smile]
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Puffy Treat
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I'd rather get on a high horse and wag my finger at people. That's where the action is, man!
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
quote:
Originally posted by LargeTuna:
While I agree with the premise, I'm not sure this is a practical idea, as mayhem and violent arguments could ensue. But I ineed respect your opinion and hope you live a long and prosperous life.
(did it work?)

While I respect the attempt, I must say it felt a bit over the top to me. Respect need not cause sugar highs. [Smile]
This wasn't bad, but you can politely disagree without making a point of using the word "respect", you know. If you're OK with a minimum of sugar, that is.
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Shan
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One lump or two, m'dear? [Wink]
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Xaposert
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I'm inclined to think that a polished knife is no less sharp. As a result, I'm generally more interested in respectful intentions than polite phrasings. But, then again, others may certainly disagree.
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T:man
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:
I'm inclined to think that a polished knife is no less sharp. As a result, I'm generally more interested in respectful intentions than polite phrasings. But, then again, others may certainly disagree.

As I do, the greater you behave politely, the more of a habit it becomes; therefore, the more we practice being polite, the more polite we shall be.
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TomDavidson
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I suppose that might be one way of looking at it.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Puffy Treat:
I'd rather get on a high horse and wag my finger at people. That's where the action is, man!

And the power and fame.
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Strider
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I agree with Xaposert completely!

Wait...what's the point of this thread?

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ketchupqueen
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
I agree with Xaposert completely!

Wait...what's the point of this thread?

While I completely respect your right to post here, and Hatrack may be different things to different people, it has long been a habit in our community to read carefully and try to understand what a thread is about before we come in and post in it. I suggest that, in the future, if you don't know what a thread is about, it might be better to not jump in until you've waited for a few more posts to see if they clarify things. [Smile]
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Strider
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Thanks! That's really great advice. I agree with everything you said as well. I think you're a wonderful person ketchupqueen. [Smile]
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The Rabbit
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While I think practicing polite conversation is an excellent idea, I believe the initial topic is rather poorly chosen as neither side lends its self well to logical or factual analysis. And while the topic may not be as emotionally charged as gay marriage or Israeli policies, when there is nothing to talk about but opinions of the previous poster it is difficult to hone good rhetorical skills.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:
I'm inclined to think that a polished knife is no less sharp. As a result, I'm generally more interested in respectful intentions than polite phrasings. But, then again, others may certainly disagree.

Certainly respectful intentions are a prerequisite for polite conversation, but on an internet forum where we are known only by our words, respectful intentions can be easily misunderstood without polite phrasing.
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The Rabbit
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On a side note, I have on several occasions been given the advice that when arguing with a friend/coworker/spouse, one can avoid conflict by replacing accusations like "You ignore me" with statements like "I feel like you are ignoring me". In practice, I have never ever seen this work. It doesn't matter how you say it, the friend/coworker/spouse always hears the accusation "You ignore me". Has anyone else ever seen this tactic work?
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Kwea
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It works if you don't over use it.
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The Rabbit
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I haven't used it more than once or twice with any individual. Its never worked even slightly. Perhaps its just my friends and associates or my tone but the person I'm talking too always hears "I feel like X" as an accusation.
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AvidReader
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I'm with Rabbit. I've never had it work for me, personally. My feelings are promptly argued with because I'm wrong. Then again, my feelings are usually wrong from everyone else's perspective.

Maybe that's the trick - you have to feel what the other person would be feeling for it to work. If you feel X but they feel Y, they just don't care.

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
On a side note, I have on several occasions been given the advice that when arguing with a friend/coworker/spouse, one can avoid conflict by replacing accusations like "You ignore me" with statements like "I feel like you are ignoring me". In practice, I have never ever seen this work. It doesn't matter how you say it, the friend/coworker/spouse always hears the accusation "You ignore me". Has anyone else ever seen this tactic work?

This is a tactic I often use and it often works for me. Strangely, it usually works better for me on message boards than in real life. This is possibly because I can go through several drafts before posting something to a message board whereas in real life I'm stuck with the first words out of my mouth. Also, in real life there is a lot that happens in tone and body language that may be undermining the phrasing.
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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
While I think practicing polite conversation is an excellent idea, I believe the initial topic is rather poorly chosen as neither side lends its self well to logical or factual analysis.

I agree.

So....I think that men should pay for dates, open doors for women, etc.

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The Rabbit
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I think its fine if you expect the men who date you to pay and open doors as long as you clearly communicate that expectation up front.

But if you expect the men who date me to pay and open doors, that's entirely different. I'm not nearly patient enough to wait for a guy to open the door. If he gets there first and holds the door for me that's great but when I get their first I will open the door and hold it for him. I enjoy the feeling of independence and equality that comes when I pay for things.

If having a guy pay and open doors makes you feel appreciated, perhaps put on a pedestal, terrific -- find a guy who likes doing those things. For me, those things create a feeling of dependence and subservience and I'm glad to have a husband who prefers a more equal relationship.

[ June 16, 2009, 09:10 AM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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Fyfe
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quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
On a side note, I have on several occasions been given the advice that when arguing with a friend/coworker/spouse, one can avoid conflict by replacing accusations like "You ignore me" with statements like "I feel like you are ignoring me". In practice, I have never ever seen this work. It doesn't matter how you say it, the friend/coworker/spouse always hears the accusation "You ignore me". Has anyone else ever seen this tactic work?

This is a tactic I often use and it often works for me. Strangely, it usually works better for me on message boards than in real life. This is possibly because I can go through several drafts before posting something to a message board whereas in real life I'm stuck with the first words out of my mouth. Also, in real life there is a lot that happens in tone and body language that may be undermining the phrasing.
I have found that what works fantastically well is connecting events to feelings. So, "When you don't respond to my emails, I feel ignored" works better for me than "You're ignoring me" or "I feel like you're ignoring me".
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Shan
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It is certainly true that tone and timing are crucial in the equation of "I" statements in communication strategies.

Internet forums do allow one the opportunity to formulate multiple responses before actually hitting "send" -- unfortunately, we don't allow ourselves as much thinking time in verbal communications.

Dating norms seems like a lovely new topic to practice polite disagreement with. Just for fun (reminds me of speech club in high school, lo these many years ago [Smile] )

I'll argue for the male picking up the cost and opening doors and doing the chivalrous thing -- without any expectation of nookie from the female at the front door or in the back seat. After all, we ladies are such tender, gentle creatures that we need a strong man to protect us, yes?

*steps warily back from the hornet's nest*

Remember! POLITE DISAGREEMENT.

*heads out the door to work*

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Teshi
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Shan, I can think of much better arguments in support of chivalry than "women are tender flowers", heh.

EDIT: And I don't really support male-to-female only chivalry.

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by Shan:

I'll argue for the male picking up the cost and opening doors and doing the chivalrous thing -- without any expectation of nookie from the female at the front door or in the back seat. After all, we ladies are such tender, gentle creatures that we need a strong man to protect us, yes?

I would not say that we are necessarily tender or gentle, but dating is a type of mating ritual. Women may be unable to provide for themselves during the time immediately before and immediately after having children and a little up-front assurance that men are capable providers is a simple and effective part of the mating ritual. As the females of the species decorate themselves in ways that flaunt their fertility, so the males flaunt their ability to protect and provide.

Or on a more human level...before I was married I was engaged to another man who never paid. This particular male was frankly wealthy but had me convinced that we should split the costs of things. The money had nothing to do with why that didn't work out, but looking back I think his unwillingness to invest in me should have been a sign that our relationship was not meant to be.

My husband, on the other hand, was frankly poor when we started dating, yet he went out of his way to show me that what he did have he would willingly share with me. And he did that without going into debt, which I would not have appreciated. He used a bit of ingenuity and creativity at times -- such as bartering with a jewelry store to write them a web page in exchange for our wedding rings. [Smile]

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