How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People 3/3

Continued from the previous article

So believing that you’re right in what you’re saying is what is causing you to lose friends and infuriate people. Maybe you’ve unfriended people when you believe you’re right. What are you basing that on…science? There’s a lot of talk on all sides of the political spectrum right now about using science with COVID-19. What is science? Who says science is right? Again, let’s use that same example. Science suggested that the world is flat, that there was an edge. Science later changed to reveal the fact that it’s not. So what was true at one point, according to science, is no longer true. Some other time, science has proven throughout history to be fluid. There is no hard and fast factual, consistent entity that you know of on the planet; it just doesn’t exist. The universe is still growing. It’s still expanding. 

The sun and our world might be shrinking, but the universe is getting bigger.

Our world may be shrinking. Our sun may be shrinking. We don’t know. I mean, global warming has been happening for the last 10,000 years, since the last ice age. Are humans contributing to the warming of the world’s climate? Probably. Yes. I don’t know. People would turn around and say, what does science say? Well, which part of science are you talking about? And from whose perspective? One doctor will tell you that drinking coffee is great for you; another doctor will tell you it’s bad for you. One doctor will tell you to actually go running, and work out and exercise. Another doctor will tell you that it only goes so far, because you actually need to eat less. So who can believe science anymore? There are so many different perspectives and opinions. There is no one actual result. If you believe you’re right based on science, then again, you’re not being empathetic. You’re not listening. And your opinion and perspective based on that science might actually be proven different later on by somebody else. 

We can’t actually believe that we’re absolutely, wholeheartedly right. However, you can believe that you could be right, and make a choice as to what you choose to believe in. It is always a choice. We all believe in something, whether we acknowledge it or not, but it is always going to be a choice. So here’s the thing about believing that you’re right. It’s okay to adjust your perspective in your opinion, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, you will probably garner more respect from other people. If you listen, if you consider other people’s perspective and opinions, you empathize with them. And then you consider the choices of what you believe in. And if it means that what you’ve stood for for decades is no longer the case, then fine, good for you. Well done.

But if you dig your heels in…

But if you just dig your heels in without listening to other people’s perspectives and opinions, without any consideration whatsoever of alternatives, then that’s how you lose friends and infuriate people. 

And the third thing is hiding. It’s very easy in today’s society to hide behind two things. Number one, we hide from conversations. And when I say a conversation, I mean with another person, not online. That’s not with a person, that’s through technology. You’re not having a conversation, you’re just blasting out opinions and perspectives. Have an actual conversation, preferably in person. If you can’t meet over coffee, as two individuals, six feet apart, then you know what? Get on the phone or some other device using today’s technology. You can actually use video, chat, FaceTime, or a multitude of other technological apps and programs where you can still see each other. And it’s important to actually see somebody else when you’re having a conversation. 

But if you’re using a platform where you can just type on a keyboard and share a thought, that is hiding from a conversation.  There is so much more to a conversation than just the words you say. Whoever you want to be online, you can choose to be, inventing a specific persona. And in addition, even if you don’t actually choose to be a certain persona online, it is happening with or without your consent. You are presenting a persona online that may or may not reflect the real you, how you actually feel inside. Only when you are face to face with somebody will you actually temper emotions, hold things back, actually think about what you’re saying.

We’re actually getting very lazy.

As long as you’re not yelling or screaming; as long as you’re listening. So if you want to lose friends, if you want to infuriate people, then hide from the conversations, hide behind the social media. Try to actually socialize in real life, not through the media. Another thing that we’re hiding from is the effort that’s required to be human. We’re actually getting very lazy. It requires effort to talk to someone, to listen to somebody, to have a conversation. It requires effort because everything is done for us. These days, everything that we buy is there to make our lives easier. We are shying away from the effort of having a conversation. It’s simply too much effort to think, to actually listen and consider that “maybe I could be wrong.”

So we don’t bother. We’re hiding from the effort required to actually converse with people. So I recommend that you literally just call someone, pick up the phone, arrange a time where you can have a conversation in person or meet using technology. Video is best, so you can actually see each other. Classic Jabber, as you know, usually has up to six people conversing at a time (no more than six, because then it becomes very difficult to have one conversation at a time and for everyone to contribute). So meet up with people. Most places right now are beginning to open up, where you can meet one, two, or three other people in a socially-distanced circle around a table. You can even socially distance a meet-up in a park, where you can see people and converse. That’s how you gain friends.

We’re losing friends and infuriating each other because we’ve stopped listening, because we believe we’re right, and because we’re hiding. I do hope that you’ll take this seriously. That you’ll consider what we’re looking at today in society. And that you’ll actually start listening, that you believe that you could be right, but may be wrong as well, and that you no longer hide from having difficult conversations and making the effort to listen more than you talk. 


We’ve got some more fabulous episodes of Classic Jabber coming up soon, some more interviews. If you’d like to be interviewed, if you’d like to have a chat with me about classical music or everything surrounding it, then just let me know, send us an email. Contacting me on any of my social media pages is fine, or use my contact page.  In the meantime, have a listen to some previous episodes, jump all the way back, listen to some of the older episodes that you may have missed in the past. They’re quite fascinating. And who knows where we’re going to be in a year’s time from now. But what I can tell you is that classical music WILL be a part of people’s lives. And if that includes you, then great, wonderful, welcome. Let’s stay in touch.  Let’s build our friendship and let’s be nice people.