Today I had an interesting experience in my stream, of which I did not handle myself in the best way I could have, but it really got me thinking and I am thankful for it. I think I have walked away with a really great lesson and something to think deeply about for the next few days. I may post a follow-up blog on this subject.
I had a viewer come into my stream and argue with me about a point I had made in my show. Now, this viewer had been in my channel before, and had also expressed disagreement with other points I had made in the past. Today when this happened again I responded by talking about the point for a bit, but then I expressed that it would probably be best if the viewer and I went separate ways and that it would likely be better for my channel if she did not frequent mine and that it would be better for another channel if she became part of its community.
I said this because my only experiences of this person were with her disagreeing with me and arguing with me on points of which the two of us never budged. There were also no points in the past when one of my points changed her mind and then prompted her to say that she agreed with me, or of any other points for that matter where the two of us agreed from the outset and that she voiced that. My only experiences with her talking to me were arguments against my points.
I then told her that I did not think she liked me based on how she had been reacting to my channel. (Note, this was wrong, I should not have put my thoughts in her head. I should have expressed this thought in terms of myself, as it was my own thought, by saying something such as “We disagree frequently I do not think we fit well.”) She responded that she was just trying to make good conversation by providing another opinion against mine.
This is where there is nothing I can prove, but based on my instincts (and they are solid – not infallible – but they are solid) I got the feeling that she was likely a very opinionated person like myself and was a sort of natural enemy to my personality as I also am a very opinionated person. I have had many experiences with this over the years where people would always find faults with what I was saying and it ultimately stemmed from seeing me as a competitor of some sort. Often people that are critical but also like good conversation are people like my friend Xenoplanet who not only disagree with me, but also agree with me. This is how I know she means what she says when she likes good conversation. She has more than one response to my opinions. If someone only disagrees with me and then says they want to make good conversation, to that I disagree. That is a person that either has an opposite outlook or that is a person which is a contrarian and is trying to argue for the sake of arguing, or for worse for the sake of derailing the content that is being produced by another.
Either way, in these circumstances the two people in question (in this case the viewer and I) are not going to work well together. Sometimes you just have to accept that. I sure want to inspire as many people as I can, but there are people out there that are going to think that I am full of shit and they are always going to disagree with me. And this is their right and that is perfectly alright! However, I have a show to do and a goal of my own, which is actualized by me saying my own opinions to people that are receptive of them, and thus a viewer like this does not add anything at all to my show. Sure, every once in a while it is good to have people around you that keep you honest and keep you in check from getting too arrogant, but people have differing opinions and it is important to know when you fundamentally are not going to work. This is where I say, do not waste your time when you encounter people like this. You are going to put in a humongous amount of time and effort to try to make something work that probably will not work out anyways, and on top of that you are going to derail the other things that you could have been doing with that same time.
How much time was I going to spend on arguing with this one person who disagrees with what I think when there are many more people that are genuinely receptive to what I am saying?
The lesson is that you cannot win over everyone, and you have to really internalize this. Some people out there will not think the same as you. Consciously try to recognize who these people are so you can spare your time, as well as their time. Because remember, the both of you are not going to budge on your opinions, so arguing is really a waste of time for not just you, but also for the other person as well.
Therefore it is important to know that certain people will not be a good fit for your community, your family, your friends, your company, your church, etc. Some people just do not work well with others. This may be sad to think and realize, but it is a fact of the world and you have to acknowledge it and thus operate in accordance with this. Thus I told this viewer that it would be best if she watched other channels. I think that I failed to communicate this point well and if I have the chance again, which I am positive that I will, I hope I do a better job.
To conclude, you need to take care of your communities and some people do not fit in them. Sometimes you might be wrong and need to change yourself, and other people can be the vehicle for understanding your flaws and mistaken beliefs, but also sometimes people just do not fit. Of course most of the time when this happens these people will say that “you are wrong” or that “you think you are always right.” They will seldom acknowledge that you might simply have clashing personalities, or that maybe their actions and arguments stem from jealousy (they will likely never admit this reason, and believe me it is a common one), but in many cases this is likely what is happening. Therefore you need to realize that you have people around you that are receptive to your ideas and that those people matter if you are working to build a community. Focus on these people and remove those that are not receptive simply for the reason that the unreceptive people will fight and detract from the experience for those that are receptive. And those are the people who matter.
It’s like they say, “If you don’t like it here, then leave.” And if they don’t, well then should help them find the door.
In the end, it will be better for both parties involved. Constant fighting is not good and believe me, there are conflicts that will never be resolved. Do not waste your time and believe in false hope that you can reconcile and come to an agreement with every single human being. This just does not happen. Cut your losses, and if possible do it nicely. Realizing that someone is not a good fit does not need to be mean spirited at all. And lastly, do not talk shit about them after they are gone. If you do, use a different name or refrain from using one so people do not know specifically who is being talked about. It isn’t fair to talk about people when they cannot give a response back.
Good luck keeping your communities cohesive,