This morning when I opened up my Twitter to check the news (and the verbal fightings du jour) the first thing I saw was a link to this post on Medium: It’s not enough to be right. You also have to be kind. (Please, read it. It is worthy.) The text represents me so much that I wish I had written it from beginning to end. It is perfect and totally in sync with how I see the way things are lately, especially but not only, in politics. Here in Brazil, in the USA and in the world. People are so eager to convert other people into their own ideas and beliefs, especially in this new platform called social media that their usual chosen converter element is attacking, shaming people into it.
However, it is not what end up happening. It is like fighting fire with more flames. All you generate is more heat, friction, polarization. Because calling them names (extremist, lunatic, fascist, marxist, socialist, capitalist, idiot, stupid, heartless and so on and on), making them feel bad or excluded from your bubble club are not helping any kind of conversion. This might resonate highly well with people that think and behave alike yourself but it is never gonna convert the ones who don’t.
It is like as much as you punch with all the hate you’ve got, they hold on stronger into their own beliefs, ideas. You might have a point, be totally right about it but yet, you are NOT gonna help them see your truth by force or shame. It never helps.
Instead try setting your mind like this:
Hate the attitude, thoughts, beliefs, not the person.
This makes you focus on the attitude, thought, belief instead of the person. It will help you to be more objective, to focus in dealing with the issue instead of attacking, shaming the person. Because that is what you should attack if you want to convince anyone about anything.
And then, with this attitude, you may be able to address whatever with kindness. Because after all, it is through kindness that you can reach someone’s heart. And there is no better ally than a person’s heart to change their mind.