“I just don’t get how people eat meat. How do they get their conscious to get okay with hurting an innocent animal to fulfill their hunger when there are clearly more docile options like going vegan.”
“Well, that is pretty ridiculous considering how there is a food chain in order. Some animals are there for us to enjoy the meat. They are there to satiate our hunger. There is no need to go all sentimental about something set by the law of nature.”
…. And an argument breaks out.
We all have our opinions. Sometimes our opinion differs from others and it can lead to a heated argument. It isn’t uncommon to land in disagreement with someone you love either.
What if these disputes were avoidable? What if you could voice your opinion without throwing it into the other’s face and allowing them time to understand your opinion? Of course, it would be a wiser and lesser violent course of action, wouldn’t it?
That’s why you use the Socratic Method of questioning rather than blurt out your point of view.
What is this Socratic Method anyway?
You must have heard about the ever famous Greek Philosopher, Socrates. His method of questioning is called the Socratic Method. He was a rather curious soul, questioning students as he strolled around Athens. His approach to discovering the truth has since been held in high esteem by the succeeding philosophers.
Usually, we give our opinion straight away, right? Well, instead of being so straightforward, he would use questions until he exposed a contradiction, which then exposed a fallacy in the beginning assumption. Imagine realizing your opinions were all but deceptive…. Doesn’t hurt as bad as someone telling you the same thing straight to your face, right?
That’s why the Socratic Method has gained so much recognition ever since.
So, if you are using the Socratic Method, how will you ask questions? See, this method comprises the use of the questions to build a hidden idea from one person to another trying to establish a point. When you approach a conflict the way Socrates did with his questioning, it will get your point across more effectively and there will be no unnecessary argument.
Have you noticed how public speakers often use probing interrogations to get to their point? They don’t just say what they want to but, instead, they repetitively ask the audience leading questions which ultimately make their point. It is one practical application of the Socratic Method.
Go back to the two contradictory statements at the beginning of this article. What if the second, opposing argument was put forward in a question? It would be something along the lines of: “then why is there a food chain set in order by nature itself?”
When you express your opinion as a question, it is less threatening to the other person and more open to understanding. It gives them a chance to look at your perspective. Since they will have to answer your question, they will have to look at the argument as you do. It creates a base with more mutual understanding.
You will also like reading: How to Remain Calm and Win any Argument or Conflict, Backed by Science
Conflicts in real life
Arguments, conflicts, and fights are all inevitable. Even in the most loving of the relationships, there will be something you two don’t agree with. It’s human nature. We all have our own thought processes and beliefs. It isn’t a problem. The problem is when we don’t agree with the other’s opinion and we put them down, without realizing that we might hurt them. Nobody wants to hurt a loved one, right? So, why not take a more sane approach? The Socratic Method.
At times, slightest of a skirmish can end up ruining your relationship only because you used the wrong tone and way of voicing your opinion. Shoving your opinion down someone’s throat doesn’t get them to agree with you. Making them understand your point does. Forcing your opinion on someone only complicates things and you don’t want that.
It might take some practice and patience to master the art of Socratic Method but, once you start using it, you will see no point of throwing your opinion at others. Why do it when you can simply make them have second thoughts about their own opinion?
Originally inspired by Lifehacker
Image was originally taken by Wikimedia