A discussion is the action or process of talking about something in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas. This is how we should approach a conversation with someone or a group of people, but that’s not always the case. Instead, we may engage in an argument. An argument is still considered an exchange of ideas, but these ideas are probably opposing and there’s usually a heated, aggressive tone involved.
So why do people choose to participate in arguments rather than discussions? In my opinion, it has a lot to do with power. Sometimes people feel more powerful and “better than” if they prove themselves right, and someone else wrong, in an argument. Those people always have this goal in mind of being right, winning an argument, and walking away with this perceived sense of being more powerful now. They essentially feel like they took this other persons power, possibly by any means necessary, in order to make themselves feel better. But, do we want to make ourselves feel better at the expense of someone else? At the expense of someone else’s feelings?
I feel like the answer to that question would be “no”, but we can still engage in a conversation that turns into an argument and not a discussion. We have to approach these situations with a different mindset. We have to understand that if its viewed as a discussion, then that element of power struggle, that element of me vs. you, that element of perceived “winning” can be eliminated. As a result, you create this space where people can express their ideas, regardless if they are agreed upon. The focus is taken off any specific outcome and transferred to the present moment where ideas are flowing back and forth. That’s where growth happens. That’s where compassion happens. That’s where love and respect for one another exists.