Friday, January 20, 2017

Why We Argue?

Disclaimer: I write this solely to remind myself, to be more humble, to listen more to the people whom I care about, so that I don’t hurt them.

Ever since I had this blog, I have received a lot of comments, feedback, as well as critics. No matter how hard I try to be sincere and honest, somehow I still got ‘attacked’ for writing my OWN personal opinion, feeling, or experience. This is tough as my main purpose to write is to share some lessons to be learned, more often for myself.

As a communication graduate student, sometimes I feel like I failed everytime it happens. Why should I learn how to communicate until graduate school, if I keep making miscommunication with people surround me? Especially, people whom I love and care about.

The first principle of communication that I learned was to make recipient interpret the message as the communicator said. When I talk to you, do you get the same meaning as I do? If yes, that’s good. If no, we should work on it.

However, the more I learn communication,  the more I understand that this kind of situation is rarely achieved. It is happened in persuasive communication, when sellers sell something and the customers buy, or when you believe that Mario Teguh said the exact right thing despite what he has done. But after all, what if all communication is meant  to be persuasive?

Then, my mind wandering to the times when I was in high school and joined debate club. I really love that times! I really love arguing! I asked ‘why’ to every little things, and sometimes it becomes annoying to my mom or my friends. But my debate instructor and teammates thought it was great. We seeked the meaning of something and we tried to defend it. Only years after I left the debate stages, I found some deeper reasons why we – sometimes – have to argue.

It started with one thing: that we ARE different.
Me, my mom, my dad, my sisters, my brother, my ex-boyfriend(s), my boss(es). Everyone has different mind about many things. Even when you have twin, both of you can be just as different as you and your neighbors. We supposed to comprehend about this, so that we can think and feel what we want to say, right before we say it.

Second: argument is basically not bad, as it gives us the whole perspective about something.
We can’t be right about EVERYTHING. Sometimes we know a thing better than somebody else, sometimes we are just clueless like somebody else. We need to argue so that we know that there are some other things outside our narrow mind. Why I say ‘narrow’? As I said, our knowledge is limited, and like it or not, I think it is made on purpose by God so that we need other people to help us gaining our knowledge. All those years of debating, I learn to listen and accept that I might be wrong about something. I was taught to open my mouth only if I know the senses, or have prepared the logic behind my opinion. If my lines aren’t strong, I will be lose.

Third: most likely, we debate because we care about others’ opinion.
I personally think that if I care about somebody, I want to know his/her thought. I want him/her to open his feeling towards me. If I don’t care, I can just walk away and go. But I want to understand you, that’s why I debated you.
You may agree or disagree. There are some people who thinks like this “if you trust me, you won’t questioning me.” But after all, if you trust me, you will appreciate that I have mind and feeling. I am not a dead body. Although I do believe that there are some things that meant to be solved by one person and this person needs trust from everybody. Such as, when you are in a ship, you have to fully trust the helmsman, right. 

As I grow older and getting more subjects in communication, I learned a new thing: that communication meant to be the bridge for the differences. My favorite subject is intercultural communication and it’s a challenging subject, even for me who have friends from all over the world (cieh). And in this subject, the main principle is: never assume. As something that happened in your position, might be applied differently in other parts of the world. It’s not bad or good, it’s just some differences we have to embrace.

So, what’s the relation between all of this lecture and why do I have to write this in very early morning? Because now I have to apprehend that how hard I try to be right, there will be someone out there stands on different point of view. I know it is real, but for now, it is getting more real. Sometimes it is scary, but I have to defend my right to speak and to be heard. Or sometimes it is because the relationship is really meaningful, and I want to do my best to keep it on track.

Lots of love,


  1. I agree that people have different perspectives on different things. They are not wrong, just differences. What I learn from my own experience is, we need to respect how other people look at a certain thing and maybe to wonder how they can come out such thought. And most of times, discussions are more important to find the best solution on anything.

    So, argue politely, discuss, give ideas and thought then choose the best decision for that situation :)

    1. yes, thank you so much Hanis! with you live in the place where you have to encounter different cultures, I guess you understand it better than me :)


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