Some comments and arguments are not worth responding to with a counter argument or clarification, because the antagonist’s mind is already made up, and their only desire is to provoke us into a power struggle. They know that if they can provoke us, they not only win, but we begin to doubt ourselves, we lose energy, and we lose a little bit of our future motivation to act. We can solve this problem by moving out of our survival reaction’s of fight, flight, freeze, and please, and into being a conscious observer of our interactions.
In order to master the art of observation, we must first spend countless hours, days, months, and years observing our own thoughts, feelings, and actions, and reflecting upon them. This allows us to modify our lives, which in turn allows us to respond to any given situation, rather than react to them, in a conscious, even keeled manner. This is especially true when someone’s desired goal is to provoke us into a power drama; this doesn’t mean we run from their arguments and points, but that we identify and call out their underlying manipulative intent for what it is. This ability disarms the beast, and renders it impotent and powerless against us.
Dirty Trick # 32 Raise Nothing But Objections
Your opponent is giving good reasons to accept an argument, but the fact is your mind is made up and nothing will change it (of course you don’t want to admit that your mind is closed). Skilled manipulators respond with objection after objection after objection. As their opponents answer one objection, they move on to another. The unspoken mindset of the manipulator is “No matter what my opponent says (in giving me reasons), I will keep thinking of objections (the fact is that nothing whatsoever will convince me of the validity of his view).” ~Richard Paul, “The Thinker’s Guide to Fallacies: The Art of Mental Trickery“