While waiting for a friend at a local restaurant, I couldn’t help but notice that the two people sitting at the table near the door were engaged in what I could tell was a heated conversation. One of the people seemed to be just pounding home their point, not allowing the other person a moment to interject or share their thinking. After a few minutes, I could tell that the other person finally decided to throw in the towel, end the haranguing, and agree to whatever the other person was trying to convince them of.
In that brief moment, I wondered does the person who seemingly “won” the disagreement realize that there is a difference between fighting against someone and fighting for something. Do they know that lasting victories are only achieved when people find a common cause and purpose to act together?
Understanding the difference between fighting for something versus fighting against something makes all the difference.
Taking a position against someone sets in motion a chain reaction of punch-counter punch or, in some cases, strategic retreat and avoidance on the part of the other person, which leads to one of two things: an all-out war or total defeat of the other person. Fighting for something you believe in enables trust and fairness and subtly tells the other person that you’ve got the strength to let your position be evaluated on the merits and that you’ll do the same with theirs.
The next time you disagree with someone’s position, make sure that you don’t allow yourself to become so lost in winning at all costs that you allow the argument to be about fighting against someone/something instead of for what you believe to be true.