People use their ideologies and beliefs to enforce their own lifestyles while taking pleasure in scolding or ostracizing others in the process. Instead of having intellectual debates and systematically analyzing varying opinions with reason and evidence, some people choose to use emotional manipulators to try to shut down the conversation and get their own way. They are ego driven confused humans that firmly believe that correlation equals causation and that any person or group of persons that does not agree with their views are simply wrong. When you place a belief or ideology before the humanity of a person, you a creating the potential for violence and disregarding empathy. Instead of acknowledging the other persons argument, they choose to pick apart everything the other person has said with brute emotional force and logical fallacies.
" Your argument is stupid."
" That makes you a racist."
" Well you are this because of that."
" My ideas are always right."
Statements like these are emotional manipulators ( gaslighting ) commonly used by social justice warriors and people that are conditioned to one particular mind set. Saying an argument is stupid or racist only shuts down the possibility of making more arguments or reasonably discussing the topic at hand. When a person chooses to use emotional manipulators in an argument, they have already lost, but they don't see that since they are imprisoned in a belief system that subscribes to "might vs. right".
Emotional manipulators disregard the People First philosophy. They are imprisoned by the belief that ideals define their relationships with people. They strip moral agency away from people that do only agree with their ideals. They get lost in definitions, labels and collectivist categories that strip away individualism. Their "ists" and "isms" are illusory filters socially conditioning them into us vs. them pardigms and polarizing any sense of human decency.
This is particularly relevant to the two party system present in contemporary politics, but is not limited to it. Many religions indoctrinate people conditioning them to polarize, criticise and emotionally detach from different perspectives. Their critical thinking, patience and compassion are squandered by banal agendas void of any reason, evidence and accountability. The stringent ideologies and perspectives close off any possibility of responsibility or self ownership. Blame knows no end, but when reason is rejected it can turn into a threat.
Wars are started by conflicting ideologies and causes. Nationalism turns one group of people against another. This is particularly absurd when a groups if people identify with a given land mass. More specifically, the people become disciples of social constructs that are antiquated, draconian and do not exist. Government is responsible for stripping moral agency from any person that goes against it. Government does not create an atmosphere of compromise.
The unwillingness to discuss, analyze and reformat logical opinions will only make things worst. The immediately offended are programmed from the interactions they were taught as children and their immediate environment including public education and media. The inability to question social constructs that have been put into place and perpetuated through repetition is the opposite of progress. It is the lack of awareness and self ownership that produces the same individuals that will indentift with any idea or cause on a strict emotional basis. The blind obedience to do what you are told will only perpetuate the same ideas and keep the same people that have put these ideas in place in power.
"Think for yourself, question authority." - Timothy Leary
So what can we do as critical thinking human beings to combat these unconscious people?
First off, it is very important to becomes aware of your actions, feelings and behaviors and not let them overwhelm you. Taking a step back and breathing to analyze your thoughts is the first step in peacefully as mindfully interacting with people. If an emotionally manipulative person chooses to rattle your cage and you respond in the same fashion, they have won. It is important to continually acknowledge what the person has said without pointing a finger or accusing them of being or doing something inaccurate or wrong. It is a distraction to continually pick apart the inadequacies of their character and speaking when the main factor is the rationality and reasonabolity of the information itself.
I wrote in an earlier article about effective and peaceful communication involving the three step process of Attention, Acknowledgement and Appreciation. When you maintain a healthy atmosphere of attention, you can accurately assess where the person is coming from and whether they are using and emotional tones to try to get you to submit or simply agree with their fallacious arguments. When you put forth a positive and calm tone of attention, acknowledgment will come with great ease. You can acknowledge what you are saying as a way to really tell them you are listening and invested into the discussion at hand. The final step of expressing appreciation will humanize the conversation and ultimately show your respect for the other person's opinions and character.
It will become increasingly apparent that you will be running into ideological walls with people when you react in a reasonable and sensible manner. If a discussion turns tense and you can easily see the person's unshakable agenda, then move on. It is increasingly important that you peacefully disassemble or ostracize yourself from the situation. When reason and evidence aren't the building blocks of the conversation and the main drive are emotional and irrational constructs, you must respectfully and peacefully end it. Although it is not absolutely necessary, showing that you appreciated the discussion will give some type of closure to the situation and show that you are not simply leaving on any major distressing circumstances. If the situation becomes threatening or physically intimidating, it is important to express your feelings explicitly without threatening or increasing the tension. In those cases, saying that you feel threatened and expressing your feelings without attacking their character might ease the tension. Stand your ground and be truthful to your actions and words.
You will quickly find that what you value in discussions in arguments will direct your future interactions. Seeing the warning signals of emotional manipulation and misappropriated identification, will let you pick your discussions wisely. You want to surround yourself with people of substance, morality and virtue that can treat you as a person first. Like attracts like. Understanding yourself is the first step in effectively communicating with people around you.
Take in mind that we all carry a huge responsibility in how we present our selves to the world. We can be aware of our actions and empathetic with the people around us. Seeing the diversities in opinions and beliefs in people allows your to learn and understand the continual evolution of humanity. We are responsible for spreading reason, evidence and virtue for next generations. All the small interactions are important and add up. A collective look inward will cause the outer world to blossom. The outer is a reflection of the inner. Involution of human consciousness will spawn a revolution of human progress.