I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind for a few days. After watching strangers yell at each other at the park, I’m taking that as a sign to put this out there.
There’s a situation out there and I’m sure you have a strong opinion on it. There are viruses and lockdowns and vaccinations, and you think certain thoughts about them.
Other people think different thoughts about them than you do.
Haha, oh, those pesky Others, with their wacky opinions…
Your dirt-simple challenge for the day:
Say something nice about these Others.
If your answer is, “what?! But they wilfully ignore a deadly virus!” or “what?! But they wilfully ignore a corrupt powergrab!”, then you fail.
If you say, “I admire the strength of their convictions, even in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence,” then you fail the challenge. You also fail as a comedian. Come on, that’s weak manure.
Claiming that giving them any sort of compliment glorifies them and their beliefs is failure with a capital everything.
If you say, “oh, hell no, I’m staying out of this!” then you fail.
If your answer is something weak and superficial, like you admire the font on their protest signs, then you sort of win, but not enough to not fail.
This isn’t difficult, assuming you know how the Other side thinks. No, not how the loser who wrote that cringeworthy tweet thinks. Forget the low-hanging fruit. When you know what the geniuses on the Other side think, this challenge requires zero effort on your part.
If you think the Other side doesn’t have geniuses, then you fail more than just the challenge.
Here’s the prize:
If you pass the challenge, you are not being anti-persuasive. Maybe.
If you fail, though, then every time you talk about it, you’re making the Problem worse. No matter what you think ‘the Problem’ really is, you lovingly nature it with your failure. I guess that’s what happens when you learn persuasion from Facebook, not from psychology or philosophy.
Take a moment, take a breath and pass the challenge.
Want a bonus challenge? Do this challenge with each of your hot-button topics. Genuinely praise followers of the Other politics, Other religion, Other social issues, Other professions, Other philosophies…
I could build a course around this idea, which would make you superhuman in the age of the internet. While every online argument makes everyone else dumber and angrier, they would only make you wiser.
Maybe one day I will make this course.
In the meantime, if you want me to call you out on more of your manure, sign up to Platinum Coaching. After six months of personalised and intensive work, you’re going to be more than superhuman in more than just online.
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