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Starting Fights

lots of people think "i don't start fights, but i do fight back".

but there are lots of fights between people who BOTH think like that. so who started it? a misunderstanding started the fight, then someone started fighting "back" in response to a misunderstanding.

the "fight back" type people FREQUENTLY end up being the first one to be mean and fighty. cuz they routinely think the other guy already started a fight, when he hadn't. so they end up initiating pretty often, sorta by accident, but they deserve a lot of blame here.

people also misunderstand how severe an attack was. like it could be someone really was attacking you, but only weakly, and you misunderstand it as strongly. the misunderstandings can be about degree of attacking, not just whether or not they were attacking.

if you wanna be a better, nicer person, you gotta at least REALLY check for misunderstandings and make sure things are REALLY REALLY EXTRA SUPER CLEAR before you think someone is attacking you and fight back.

also, even if you were correct that someone is attacking you, it's often best not to fight back anyway. lots of attacks can be ignored, like if someone insults you what are you going to gain by fighting back? it'd usually be better to drop the matter.

note i'm not talking about like a guy coming at you with a knife. if he's shooting a gun at you, go ahead and fight back!

but if you think someone insults you, then it could easily be a misunderstanding. same with mean jokes, social slights & snubbing, voice tones, facial expressions, and "unconstructive" criticism. this stuff is more subtle and much easier to misunderstand than physical violence.

Elliot Temple on March 6, 2016

Comments (6)

Hmmm...

Sometimes I take good constructive criticisms as rude insulting attacks.

Somename K Person at 10:46 PM on March 7, 2016 | #5025
be good for what?
the only thing i regret is being bad at being evil.
so many good chances wasted.

Leo at 5:21 AM on March 8, 2016 | #5042
you can't be good at being evil, your evil is making you bad at it

Anonymous at 3:39 AM on May 7, 2016 | #5182
regrets are unresolved errors

regrets/guilt/etc are you identifying a mistake you made (or at least, suspect you might have made)

the rational response to this is to work out how to do it better if it happens again

also if you hurt someone and feel guilty for that, discuss with them what would be a reasonable compensation

Anonymous at 3:42 AM on May 7, 2016 | #5183

Taking a breath

It is often braver to turn the other cheek, than to raise a fist. However, I am surprised that you decide to "drop it". This will often leave feelings unresolved, and that unresolved tension is often held onto and bundled with other frustrations. Especially online, I think it's important to pursue a calm demeanor, and at least acknowledge the other person's perspective.

alampert22 at 2:01 PM on June 12, 2016 | #5858
the post is general philosophy, not a personal situation.

FYI your advice is incompatible with my world view / philosophy. here is part of my perspective on emotions https://fallibleideas.com/emotions

curi at 4:50 PM on June 12, 2016 | #5862

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)