Verbal altercations are adrenaline-pumping.
A counterpart’s loss of composure is difficult to observe from an unbiased perspective. We often become a victim of their instability at a heated moment, and have to make important social decisions in a limited amount of time. As pressure of any kind mounts in the mind of those you speak to, its release – in some form – is imminent.
This article is about being the victim of another’s release of negative emotion in a social setting.
Such a release often entails an escalation of tone, an argumentative line of questioning, and accusatory remarks.
To Fall From an Observer to a Coerced Actor
The lesson of curbing your emotions has likely already been delivered for your consumption.
The moments we regret at day’s end equip us to better perform in the following day to come. A common misstep in self-analysis is to allow emotion to tint the observatory lens as you perceive reality.
We spend time constructing, supporting, and reinforcing the observatory state. You can elect to use religion, scientific fact, or media to supplement your observation of the world around you. A reactionary, emotional, state of being is seldom a beneficial part of that exercise.
The fall from observatory grace to a reactionary state is something all those who seek to align their observations with reality should avoid. Such a fall from grace is sure to birth regret, as the aspects of your personality you seek to positively reinforce melt away in an instant.
Allowing yourself to bark back at a barking dog will represent a lowering of your personal standard to match that of the entity that spouts emotion-fueled negativity your way.
The prospect of remaining objective when individuals we come across allow their recent history to fuel their social hatred toward us is slim. Objectivity matches best with rational sensory input.
Irrational outbursts directed at us are dangerous in the fact that they present a path of least resistance. That path encourages us to sidestep the observational, objective processes we’ve worked hard to sculpt. We’re presented with a good excuse to let go of our social and cognitive control mechanisms which were built for valid reasons.
Outbarking a Dog Is No Prideful Feat
Falling into someone’s enticement to get into a back-and-forth results in a net loss. While you worry about winning the verbal altercation, you’ll often lose sight of what a victory in that context means.
By winning a verbal altercation you were enticed into, you’re showing that you’re matching someone’s social depravity and excelling at it. You’re going to beat them at their own game; someone you’d not normally want to emulate one bit.
This one negative outcome of out-arguing someone spewing venom your way should be enough to deter you from participating.