Zealots will try to draw you out.http://paulgraham.com/say.html
Not just zealots, my kids are always seeking to get me to take a side.
It drives them bananas when I won’t remove their discomfort (by telling them what to think).
I know you want me to play the game but it’s really difficult for me to change my mind.
If they keep pushing then, “What’s the issue you’d like me to understand. I’ll research anything you’d like. It will take some time.”
…and I will go research.
…and I’ll report back.
My preferred source for information inflow is believable people focused on their area of expertise.
Falling into an argument is a luxury.
A luxury, that distracts from the work I need to be doing.
Other quick ways to free yourself:
Thank you => probably the best way to respond to criticism.
I’ve been wrong a lot in the past – I need to keep getting feedback, especially when painful.
I’m unlikely to change my mind immediately, but I might later.
Time will tell => I use this one with regard to politics, the virus and most recommendations to modify long-term strategy.
I like to combine the words with a small smile and a shrug of the shoulders. It’s much more effective than yelling, “there’s no frickin’ way for YOU to know that…” 😉
Acknowledge that I have no idea and need to wait and see.
I don’t know => My kids hear me say this one a lot.
My kids also hear… slow down, breathe and gentle, gentle, gentle.
If you’ve ever witnessed a person make a huge unforced error then you may have noticed they are tense, acting quickly and holding their breath.
You’re unlikely to have a productive conversation with that person => seek immediate exit.
Free yourself from the temptation to argue.
Do what needs to be done.