So it turns out people think I’m passionate and I preach at people and try to force them into my view. I’ve also been accused recently of refusing to listen to views other than my own, of being childish, tactless, hateful, and closed minded.
I can see how others might see me that way, especially if they’ve disagreed with me about something. Truth is, I AM passionate. I’m opinionated. I’m also a damn good writer and an even better researcher, so I know exactly what I believe and more importantly, I know exactly WHY I believe it.
I don’t typically write an opinion without having researched the facts thoroughly before hand. So naturally I state opinions from the mindset that based on the information I have, my opinion is fact based, well-rounded, informed, and of course, correct.
Here’s what people don’t seem to believe, though.
If, on further reflection and research, I find new facts that contradict my previously held opinions, I change my mind.
There are people in my life who can verify that I have indeed changed my mind more than once. You don’t just have to take my word for it.
The thing is, I do a damn lot of research. About everything. And usually, if it’s on the Internet, I can find it in less than ten minutes [the only exceptions being law statutes and medicaid rules]. And when I do research, I use what’s called the Trivium [you can Google if you’re curious]
Then I usually write it down because writing solidifies my thoughts and often reveals flaws in my logic.
I’m not saying this is how others have to do things, but I am saying that they should be aware that when it comes to subjects I care about, I generally know enough about it to write a damn long research paper on it [and in some cases, an entire book].
So platitudes, talking points, bumper stickers, and rhetoric from commentators in the media are all going to fail to change my way of thinking.
Every. Single. Time.
Now maybe that makes me a snob, but it doesn’t make me closed minded. I expect others to defend their beliefs and opinions with some actual facts, experiences, and knowledge that has come from doing their own research. If they don’t have time to do all that, then I respectfully submit they go argue with someone else.
I do not have mercy when it comes to debunking logical fallacies and inaccurate statements. Lies offend me to my core. They piss me off. And logical fallacies are a fascination of mine, so I like finding them and pointing them out. But they also annoy me during a debate because they don’t prove anything. They don’t make me see a different side to a story, they just irritate the shit out of me because they waste time.
I don’t mind when people disagree with me, but they’d better be able to back up their opinions with verifiable facts, or I’m going to get obnoxious. And when I back up my own opinions with facts, I don’t consider that preaching or trying to force someone into my way of thinking. I consider it being able to give a reason for my beliefs, which is another passion of mine that stems from trusting the wrong people and allowing them to decide what my opinions were for me.
So in other news, self-righteous hypocrites annoy the shit out of me, and the more ridiculous they get, the more I’m going to respond in kind.
I think maybe people don’t realize exactly how much I hold myself back in online debates. I never give full rein to my desire and ability to flay people alive with words, because I really don’t like hurting people’s feelings. There are days when I’m sorely tempted, though.