We’re living in a time where we have very quick access to information. We’re also living in a time where so many are inclined towards being politically correct, which is amazing. When you strive to be politically correct, you create a safe world for everyone to live in and you understand the struggles and misfortunes in society. However, there would still be clashes in opinions or ideologies, now more than ever since we’re living in a very opinionated time.
Debates are no more limited to just school competitions or politics anymore. Youngsters are indulging in debates in everyday lives too, trying to convey their point of view or opinions. The downside, however, is that it can get heated very quickly. The main motive of debate, which is learning, often flies out of the window. This is usually called an unhealthy debate where personal feelings and relationships get affected. Let’s look at how to have a healthy debate.
Learning Over Winning
Yes, a debate is about proving a point and winning. If you’re a part of a professional debate, winning should be your goal. However, if you’ve gotten into a debate with a friend or someone you know then, it would be helpful if your goal is to learn new information. Debate is all about spreading and gaining information. We need to make peace with the belief that we can’t always be right, only then we would be open to new information.
Keep Your Biases At Bay
The first rule of a debate is to keep it as factual as possible. You cannot let your biases come in the middle. Before getting into a debate, you should research well and gather as many facts as possible. Even if it’s a casual and friendly debate, you’ll need facts to prove your side of the story. A fun example would be, “Bananas are better than oranges because I like the colour yellow.” This might not be a very smart statement to make and it is biased, though yellow is a lovely colour. You need to prove all the healthy ingredients of bananas and how it positively affects your body. You can do so only with facts.
Don’t Get Personal
Sometimes while debating with a close friend, bringing up their experiences could be common but it isn’t always a good choice. You shouldn't take things personally nor should you make things personal. While in a debate, you must not bring up their experiences their past or even their actions to prove a point. Not only is it unhealthy, but it can also cause a rift in your relationship. This is why you must learn to debate in a healthy way, where you manage to get across your point without letting it affect your bond. Also, remember to not take things personally. If you learnt something new then it’s a win for you!
Debates are where we see a lot of opinions. We should let all the different opinions coexist in peace. Taking the earlier example again, oranges and bananas are both healthy fruits. Oranges help your skin glow and bananas control your sugar levels. You can talk more about the benefits of bananas to prove their supremacy, but you also have to respect the benefits of oranges along with that and not dismiss them.
Find Common Ground
You cannot keep debating for days. It’s important to find a common ground and settle your debate. Sometimes there is no winning because things are not as black and white as we want them to be. You can find a common solution to your debate and thank each other for learning. You know the example is coming again! So if you were trying to prove whether Bananas were better or oranges, you must come to the common decision that both are equally healthy but with different benefits. People would choose the fruit based on their personal benefits.
Also read: How Practising Active Listening Helps You Make Meaningful Relationships
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