Have we become lazy with compromise and discussion?

I feel like the art of compromise has been lost to us.

If you scroll through social media it won’t be long until you come across some sort of argument, it could be about something small and silly or really big topics like Brexit. You simply don’t have to look far before you find a few people locking horns, furiously typing on their phone. For me personally, I don’t spend all that much time on Facebook for this reason. I’ve seen too many arguments or disagreements that get out of hand too quickly and just don’t feel like it’s benefiting my existence being a bystander to all of that. However, for this post I did log back on and have a scroll through just to make sure that my main point had some sort of structural integrity.

Being honest, I feel like we’ve become a society where it’s ‘my way or nothing’.

I used the word argument before about what I see on social media but I think I want to change that. This isn’t the case of everything or everyone but I feel like on social media you see a lot of people having arguments tantrums. 

People seems to turn to insults, get defensive or offend so quickly what causes a real problem because it shuts us down to discussion. This may not sound bad but if we’re not willing to discuss, then we’re not willing to understand. If we’re not willing to understand then we’re not willing to presenting our opinions in a responsible, mature way. Insted all we’re doing is trying to shove them down someones throat and then wonder why they’re fighting back.

A lot of us have stopped compromising and discussing.

Learning what issues and beliefs you do and do not compromise on is something that happens over time. Compromise is a bit of a shaky ground, it can be both good and bad and I do want to briefly discuss it. I have core things that I will never compromise on, one of them is that I don’t believe sex before marriage. It doesn’t matter who I’m with, if they believe in that or not, I will not come to a compromise on that. However when I was little ( about 5 years old) we got a kitten. It soon came to the point where we had to name the little bundle of fluff, so we created a game that’d help us chose. We all wrote name we wanted it to be called on pieces of paper, scrunched them up into little balls and put them inside a circle. The kitten then got plonked in the circle too and what ever name got knocked out first would be his name. My brother’s name was the first one to get knocked out and you want to know what his 7-year-old head came up with? Toyota, he wanted to name the cat Toyota. I can’t say that we were all happy with the name (mainly because my mum does have a video recording of a tiny me throwing a massive tantrum so I really can’t deny I was ok with it) however, a compromise was made. That compromise came in the form of my mum giving my brother £5 with the agreement that if he took it, the cat would be called Rubik. It wasn’t the name my brother wanted, or I wanted but it was way better than Toyota. So, the kitten was called Rubik and he has a lovely 11 years of life not being named after a car.

The cat being called Rubik is a silly example of a compromise, but it does show in contrast what a good compromise looks like. There are some things that should and shouldn’t be compromise on and I want to keep reiterating that point. But how does this fit into online tantrums and a lazy approach to discussions?

We don’t have to agree with everything our friends or family think, we don’t even need to agree with the random stranger on Facebook who just posted something that really nacked you off. There is no rule that says we all have to see eye to eye on absolutely everything. There’s also no rule that says we have to completely write someone off because we don’t agree with them. Yet this is what’s happening, that ‘my way or nothing’ mentality keeps making an appearance and relationships are breaking down because of it. I’ve known friends complealy cut off all contact from other friends because they don’t agree on a matter.

There are more to our relationships than opinions.

So why are people writing off others on one conflicting opinion and throwing tantrums every time someone disagrees with someone?

I’m sure there are loads of reasons why this is happening and I’m sure you could find some professional doing an epic Ted Talk about it, but I’m not a professional nor have I studied this stuff at university. But from someone who spends too much time on social media it feels like we’ve simply stopped discussing things. Insted of sitting down with someone and saying “help me understand why you think that.” people are effectively putting their fingers in their ears going “la la la la I can’t hear you but you’re still wrong!”

This is the point where some people will be scrolling down to the comment section and saying something along the lines off “we’ll not everyone does that, you’re just assuming the worst of people.” But before you get your knickers in a twist, I understand that not everyone does this. I’ve had a great few discussions with mature people in my life where we’ve sat down and tried to understand the other persons opinions. However, I’ve also worked with the public, volunteered with children and young teenagers and can read what goes off on social media and in a lot of situations discussion was blocked off by the other person all together.

We’ve become lazy with the idea of discussion.

We live in a society where we’re used to getting things instantly. You want to order something online and get it the next day? You can do that with Amazon prime. If your family member lives half way across the world and you’re missing them you don’t have to wait until next year when they’re going to visit, nope you can face time them and see them straight away. You want to know what your friend is up to? You don’t have to message them and wait for them to reply, you simply have to look on Instagram and you’ll be able to see, no talking required.

All of those things aren’t strictly bad. It’s fantastic that we can talk to people across the world, it’s not a bad thing. But we don’t have to be patient anymore.

This lack of patience seeps into other areas too, like discussion and frankly, we’re becoming lazy with it. People are happy going straight to arguing and missing out the time-consuming part of trying to understand where the other person is coming from. I’m guilty of it at points too, sometimes I just can’t be bothered to try to understand where the other person is coming from, I’ll just stop the conversation or not reply for a bit. It’s something I really want to stop doing because I’m missing out on so much.

This lack of discussion is building up walls between people. There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone, you don’t have to see eye to eye with everyone about everything. But how many of the walls that we build between ourselves are down to us simply not being bothered to be patient and understand where the other person is coming from.

You don’t have to agree with everyone, but what would happen if we didn’t jump to insults as soon as someone says something we disagreed with? What if we weren’t so sensitive about our opinions and could hold off being defensive just for a few minuets and say “Help me understand where you’re coming from with this.” What if we were more open to compromise in ways that allowed progress to take place.

What would happen if we weren’t so lazy with compromise and discussion?

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