I’ve been known to be “The Debater” from time to time. You know this person don’t you? Just think about it for a minute. Picture it… You’ve posted something funny or witty and you think you’re having a great day… Only “The Debater” pounces on your post and turns it into a debate! Oh have I enjoyed the different Debaters over the years. Only when they are unrelenting in their behavior the relationship suffers. That is not fun.
A debate occurs when two people disagree on an issue and enter into a dialogue where the two interact through a process of deductive reasoning with hopes to present an argument that convinces the other that their opinion holds more weight. The goal of course is to get the other person to concede.
Now when done appropriately the debater can engage in meaningful dialogue. They can raise great points to help influence people towards seeing a better point. Many times good debates have led people towards thinking more critically thus allowing people to grow in their deductive reasoning. This is a great thing. Only, when done inappropriately the debater can turn statements or posts that aren’t intended to be truth claims into a contentious argument that only leads towards a closed conversation. This person then transforms from an influencer into a “know it all”. This is the person we tend to see more on facebook. They’re not cool. It is no fun at all to engage in an argument, even more so over a facebook post.
This person can bring to light great points that can cause people to think beyond a particular issue. They can help challenge people to think more critically and clearly. They can add much value to a relationship when done in an appropriate context.
When handled in a negative manner, the debater can slide into the posture of a “know it all” and when that happens the conversation is over. They can come across overconfident, prideful and rude. When that happens it hurts the relationship between the two people and taints others view towards them.
If you are “The Debater” or have friends that are, know that you can easily engage in meaningful discussion that will produce great depth in your friendship. The key is to maintain a positive approach and to keep things from getting ugly, especially when in a public arena.