Never Get into a Pissing War

A pissing war is a crude term for a battle of wills.  It usually involves  a tit for tat exchange of words that escalates the conflict and almost involve a lot of emotion.  Each side is convinced that they’re right, and the other side, dead wrong.  People begin to use inflammatory words or actions to inflict maximum damage.

You can see examples in political, business, or domestic disputes.  Men are more likely to get into these conflicts.  Women are usually more subtle and better at passive aggressiveness.  It makes sense from an evolutionary perspective.  Males have to fight against one another sometimes to the death to determine who’s the alpha and has the right to breed.  Dudes who are more laid back had a lesser chance of passing their genes compare to their more aggressive rivals. 

The competitive tendency carry into the modern world.  Though in most case, we no longer have to worry about physical danger when we’re in an argument.  It could still happen.  Some people are more prone to anger than others, and have a very steep scale in the escalation of a conflict. 

Arguments when done in a cool headed manner can be helpful to understand each other’s view. Sometimes a compromise can be reached when both parties are flexible.  Though it’s tempting to go for an absolute victory and get the other side to admit that their wrong.  It’s probably not going to happen due to each person’s sense of ego.  Most people don’t want to lose face and look foolish.

When both parties are unwilling to compromise, then a stalemate occurs, and often escalations, as each side trying to position their views as “facts” and label the other side as “illogical,” “inconsistent,” or just plain “stupid.”

The trick is be aware when emotion is coming into an argument.  Sometimes it adds creditability when you’re passionate about your views.  But more often than not, the argument turns into a shouting match. 

The key is not to get into one.  Or if you do find yourself in one, walk away as soon as possible.  It’s easier said than done.  And it takes strong character to disengage when the instinct is to keep fighting. 

Don’t do it out of fear, but instead to a realization that people will say and do things in an heated argument that they often will later regret. 

One way to do end a bad situation gracefully is by saying, “Let’s agree to disagree.”  If you don’t need to engage that person again, then don’t.  Surround yourself with positive people.  If you do have to see them again, try to do it when both parties are cooled down. 

Watch out for people who are prone to outbursts.  They either have very little self control or very manipulative and trying to intimidate you.  Stay away from them if possible, otherwise be extremely careful around them.

This doesn’t mean let other people bully or pick on you .  If you see that they keep pushing even after you’ve disengaged.  That’s when you hit back and stand up for yourself. 

A battle of wills is extremely damaging to both sides.  It releases massive amount of cortisol, a stress hormone that’s very bad for you in large doses.

Bottom line, don’t get into a pissing war, otherwise walk away from it ASAP.

Emotional Strength is Not for Wuss

3283686760_c1e5c90c52I’m a guy, and I’m not going to get mushy, and preach about getting in touch with your emotion.  I will say that strength is desirable.  It comes in different forms: physical, mental, and emotional.  The last one is not mentioned often, but as Warren Buffet mentioned, it’s crucial to success.  In other words, the ability to remain cool under pressure is what often prevents people from making some truly dumbass decisions.  It lessens the effect of fear, anger, greed, and embarrassment and helps you to keep going in face of difficulties.

Personally I’ve gotten a lot of better in this area.  Once upon a time, I would blew a fuse when confronted with crappy situations.  It didn’t make them better, in fact often the opposite happened.  Afterwards, I’d feel angry, hurt, exhausted, and even confused.  For a while it led me to the other extreme of avoiding confrontations, and not really facing the problem, which is another kind of stupidity and cowardice.

Nowadays I’m a lot calmer & balanced. I’m able to take a more detached perspective of the situation, and put myself in a third person view.  This helps me to be more objective, and dare I say, mature.  Emotional strength is like a muscle that can be built, and becomes stronger the more we use it.  I found these tips to be helpful:

Take Deep Breaths

It’s kind of funny, but just by having enough oxygen helps to prevent a person turning into a manic.  Go ahead and try it.  Take a deep breath.  Hold it.  Hold it. HOld, HOLd, HOLD!  NOW RELEASE!  Alright got my Mel Gibson’s Braveheart impression out of the system.  In any event, you should feel a bit more relaxed by the exercise, though perhaps slightly annoyed by the rant.  If the latter emotion, take another deep breath…  Your heart beat actually slows, and blood pressure goes down when you’re taking enough oxygen, and most importantly the brains function better!  Heck if you want to take it further, try Yoga, Tai Chi, or meditation which share similar concepts.

Be Positive

Yes sh*t happened.  But you get to decide how to react.  You could be angry and lash out, or frightened and withdraw.  Neither is very helpful, and usually puts you in a weaker position.  Instead take a mellow approach, or even better, be cheerful.  I know it’s hard, but it helps you gain a better perspective on the big picture.  On the flip side of the coin, avoid negativity whether in yourself, or others like the plague.  It’s not helpful, and drains precious energy.

Get Enough Sleep

Vince Lombardi, the football coach once said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”  I would add jerks and manic.  Like alcohol and drugs, sleep depravation make people do stupid & rude things.  So make sure to make to get enough, or try naps.  You’d a lot sharper & stable as the result.

Be Somewhat Detached

I’m not saying you should be Spock from Star Trek, and start pulling emotionless logical BS.  You’re human being, and as people, we tend to get attached and become upset if things don’t go as expected.  I’m simply saying that yes you can care about it, but just not TOO much.  Instead focus on your goals, and be flexible on how to attain them.

Stay Physically Fit

Not only do you become physically & mentally stronger, you also gain better control of your emotion.  You pain tolerance goes up, and you are able to withstand situations that might cause others to break.

Life is full of problems, obstacles, and setbacks.  Don’t let circumstances cause you to become an emotional wreck, and do things that you’d later regret, or the other extreme a cold android who fail to connect with others.  Instead be stable, calm, and positive, and you will become more confident and have a much better chance of success.

Facebook’s Longevity

images Unlike previous leaders of Social Networking such as Friendster and MySpace, Facebook is fast and easy to use.  It has an image problem though, and projects arrogance, often due to abrasive remarks of its founder & CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.  To its credit, the company responds to criticism quickly and recently unveiled a set of user-friendly privacy settings to alleviate a growing uneasiness among its users.  Despite the naysayers, Facebook will not go away anytime soon.

Most people do not like change. Facebook has effectively done what the author Geffory Moore described as “Crossing the Chasm,” and moved from the realm of early adapters (teenagers & young adults) to mainstream (moms, pops, and grandparents). It’s simply too inconvenient for 500 million users to move to a new social network, when Facebook is “good enough” to connect with your friends & family.

Previous social networks lost their leads because of explicit pains such as slow load time, and horrible user interface. Facebook’s shortcomings are subtle.  For better or for worse, it has become a fundamental part of the Internet Experience, and will be with us for a very long time.