I had an interesting experience recently. In an effort to discuss some things regarding my children with my ex, I chose to escalate our conversation into an argument. Let's just say it didn't go well.
You see, I thought I was doing the right thing. I thought I was stressing valid points regarding something I felt was a valid reason. I was fighting for my kids, and I was willing to choose contention over mature conversation. I was wrong.
Yeah, harsh reality.
So, this post will be as much for me as it is for anyone else. Here are three reasons why you should choose NOT to fight, argue, or be contentious with others.
It's never worth it
No matter what I said, no matter what point I thought I was making, I could never get her to listen. And why would she?
Who wants to be confronted and told, literally or figuratively, that they are wrong? Nobody. I don't. You don't. And believe it or not, your ex doesn't either. By bringing contention into a discussion, it will only ever become an argument or fight. When this happens, it will never be worth the hurt, disappointment, and frustration that comes from it. You will always regret it. So, just don't do it.
Speaking of regret...
You may think you are right, you may even know you are right, but when you fight, you will never be right. That's because nobody can walk away from an argument or fight feeling like they truly won. You will always feel depleted from the confrontation. You will be diminished. You will be less of a person, because you will have given up part of you in an effort to gain the perceived control.
Just as a physical fight will lead to skinned knuckles and lost blood, an argument or fight with another person will leave a part of you behind. It will be the part of you that once had self-control. It will be the part of you that once had enough self-discipline to stop when things were not worth the trouble. You will regret, and you will always feel as though a part of you was lost.
And then there was the fact that I was wrong
This is a tough one for me to admit. You see, I don't think my position in the disagreement was incorrect. I don't think my reasoning was without base. I really don't think I was wrong... but I was, because I chose to put my own passions and arrogance above the real reason I started the conversation in the first place.
I had intended to stand for my children in the perceived wrong that was being imposed upon them. My "intentions" were pure... but along the way they were perverted by my selfish, arrogant, prideful need to be proven right. I stopped fighting for the supposed injustice, and before long I was fighting for myself. For this reason, I was wrong.
I lost sight of not only the ones I felt I was standing up for, but along the way I also lost sight of the fact that there was another person involved who also felt that she was right. I was too prideful to allow her to be however. I was too selfish to believe that anyone else could have an opinion that was as valid as my own.
Forgetting Why You Fight
Next time you are preparing to engage in an argument in which you are certain you hold the higher ground, I would caution you to look at your real position and recognize you stand much deeper in your own weakness than you realize. No matter how you feel about the person standing on the other side, they are still a person with feelings, beliefs, and emotions of their own.
You will have disagreements with others, especially if you are divorced, but take confidence in knowing that you can have a respectful, mature conversation if you choose to. It truly won't be worth it otherwise.
Question: When have you recognized a fight wasn't worth having, and was it in time to prevent things from getting worse? Did you do anything about it? Leave a comment below.
Divorced Dad, Blogger, and Personal Development Mentor Derick Turner has been carefully crafting his message of post-divorce hope for a number of websites.