I get into a fair amount of discussion, debate and argument on my Facebook page. And I enjoy it to a large degree. Which I guess is why I engage in it.
At it’s best it can be a mutual exchange of ideas, where we both end up learning new things. At other times it can be more like verbal sparring, a fencing duel between rapier wits, kind of like the mental equivalent of an athletic contest. And that can be fun, too. And then at other times it can just be like BLLGGHHH!!!
There are the ones who come to the table in good faith — they’re willing to thoughtfully consider what you’re saying, in the hopes that you’ll also thoughtfully consider what they’re saying. And then there are the ones who come at you from the beginning from the point of view that the only worthwhile and correct point of view is THEIR point of view. And the only point of the exercise, from their perspective, is a.) to try to badger you and badger you until you finally agree with them. Or b.) after failing at that (which they usually do fail at) to resort to insults and put-downs as a way of proclaiming their “victory” in the exchange.
But one thing I’ve learned to recognize over the years are the ones who “transmit but don’t receive.” It’s like trying to have a conversation with a radio. Trying to talk back to the radio. It’s an exercise in futility to expect any kind of give-and-take. They transmit but they don’t receive.