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ToTW: form is content: how we fight

confusion can open your mind

How do you do conflict? If you're a regular on anews, then you're probably at least somewhat familiar with the embrace of conflict that this site has suggested for years now (not to mention, embodied). But there are so many ways to be in conflict.

This site started out with a broad base, leavened with a sense of humor that poked fun at people's assumptions and dogmas, which is one way to be in conflict. If you wanted to know one lens that Worker used to view the things posted on the site, then you could visit the rollers. Instead of that being a choice that readers could make, it became a requirement, as if the post was being judged and the in-crowd was laughing at some posts/people behind their backs.

I've been chatting with someone whose mom thinks that covid vaccines might be loaded with nanobots that will control people's behavior. This made me think about how to address that belief (addressing it at all is of course not necessary--which is yet another way of being in conflict). My tendency, probably most people's tendencies, is to be direct in rebuttal, but it's more fun to think about ways to get people to ponder their own decisions without getting their armor up, without providing them a clear enemy to fight. (I have found that the enemies that people make from what they hear of my arguments are almost never accurate to my beliefs, so things get more and more mystified...) That same person just pointed me to Eris, the goddess of discord, who I take to be a positive challenge. While I think it's easy to think of her as promoting the "argue for the sake of winning" terrible-ness, I think she's more about being devil's advocate, changing her position on a dime in order to keep the argument going. She (like me) appreciates the energy that comes from argument, and that is more important than winning or losing. Which brings us to the first question here: what does it mean to win or lose a conflict? If you just answer that one question, this totw will have been worth it.

So, for the purposes of this ToTW, here are some types of conflict responses: 1. avoidance; 2. direct refutation of facts; 3. attack of person who disagrees with you; 4. redirection of various sorts, like, questioning the source of someone's information, or pointing out other interpretations of facts...

What has been the most creative way you've responded to a disagreement with someone? What have been conflicts you've been in where you felt closer to the person/people afterwards (the classic boys fighting then being best friends trope)? When have you made a brilliant argument that totally worked for you but didn't work for the person/people you were fighting with? And vice versa? (Like when you argue something that has an impact on the other person, but you realize is not really what you believe at all...) What has been the most surprising outcome of a conflict you've been in or seen someone else be in? What styles of conflict have made you feel better/worse about yourself and/or the people around you?