Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer / The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, / Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, / And, by opposing, end them?
Doesn’t Shakespeare seem to captivate us all? We think this quote applies to more than just the trials of existing, but also the idea of fighting the good fight. We’re talking about arguments, lovers’ spats, legal battles, the tension between colleagues, and everything in between.
It’s sometimes exciting to enter an altercation, especially when you think you’re right or have a winning argument or even if we’re bored. The exhilaration of arguing and winning is a real ego boost and feels psychologically validating when we overpower our opponent with facts, details, coherent points, and articulate, logical facts. We come away feeling superior, happy, proud, and validated. Very rarely, however, does the person(s) on the other side of your verbal fury walk away happy with you, truly convinced and feeling better than before they fought with you.
The real winning play is to avoid the fight entirely. The real masters of persuasion know that a fight (in any sense of the word) isn’t that glamorous. Think of a fistfight, you may be sure you could win, but would you come away entirely unharmed? What about a lucky shot? Is the fight worth potentially losing? Or any injury at all? Prob not. This is a strategy utilized all the time in the legal industry. Instead of costly litigation, which consumes valuable resources like time and money, often the best approach is to settle and avoid the process entirely. You may win in court, but it’s usually not a smart move to risk it. We hear about this all the time in marriages as well, instead of arguing, why not just avoid the battle that would exhaust everyone involved.
The next time you’re on the cusp of a fight, think, “Is this worth it.” Perhaps ’tis nobler in the mind to fight, but ’tis nobler, in reality, to avoid the altercation entirely and find a way to be collaborative or convincing without being oppositional.