Do you visit my blog for all the anime content?  I admire your optimism! I’ll get back to reviews someday soon, I promise. Sadly, not today….

I am once again going to babble on about a random subject for way too long because I haven’t yet finished an anime I can review for you… Have I mentioned how attractive I find patience to be?

Image result for anime flirting
you’re both strong and pretty, that’s so rare!

 

Although not related to anime, today I’d like to talk a bit about something that’s at least a little relevant to our blogging community in general. How to deal with differences of opinion in the blogosphere.

 Alright that made it sound much more important than it is. I just want to chat a bit about the value of arguments.

But first, I’ll just explain a little something about myself that makes me view the subject perhaps somewhat differently than some. In most cultures, it’s generally considered respectful to demure to someone. You do not disagree with your elders, you do not voice conflicting opinions at least never in public. Arguing makes you difficult! This is squarely at odds with my upbringing.

Image result for anime elder
you’re right, those pigeons did have a “tone”

I was taught to be respectful to my elders and in fact everyone. There are also degrees of polite language in both Russian, Bulgarian and French, and you have to use them in a variety of situations. But voicing your opinion was always encouraged. In fact, if a superior says something you believe to be wrong, it was considered the height of disrespect to leave them in ignorance and let them continue under false assumptions. They are likely to embarrass themselves and that will be your fault.

Not voicing a contradicting opinion (in a respectful way) when you have one, means that you either do not believe the other person is smart enough to understand or do not think they are worth the time and effort to have a discussion with. Inversely, if someone is going out of their way to show you a different point of vue, it’s a kindness. They are enriching you and you should be grateful and appreciate the gift. To dismiss someone else’s opinion as wrong without consideration marks you as an idiot incapable of holding more than one idea in your brain. To simply agree with it to avoid conflict shows that you do not consider the other person worthy of your time. I realize this particular social convention is relatively rare in most cultures, but it is deeply ingrained in me. That’s why I occasionally find it unsettling to see people abruptly shy away from debate.

But I do understand the impulse. I mean there are some very sensitive people out there and effectively arguing with someone is a skill. Some people may not feel confident in such situations.

Image result for slow start anime
also a good skill

Like any skill though, it can be developed. For instance, I love arguing with Karandi. When you look at it objectively, few of our tastes actually overlap and we often find ourselves with slightly different takes and interpretations. And that’s awesome. It’s one of the reasons I love reading her posts, because it shows me things that would not have occurred to me.

And when we collaborated on posts essentially arguing with each other, I found the experience enriching. Both of us are comfortable enough with our opinions that we invite challenge. We’re strong enough to respond to it and we think the other is smart enough to appreciate our comebacks. Even without coming to an agreement, the simple back and forth is a worthy experience onto itself, that’s made me the richer and smarter for it. I think it’s the sort of experience that could be recreated in the comment sections of our blogs, but I’m not sure how to go about it.

One thing I’ve noticed is the use of subjective language can change everything. For instance, when I say I was generally uninterested in a show and have a comment that starts with This Show Is Great Because… I take it for granted that this person isn’t interested in hearing my opposing opinion. After all, they are stating FACTS. The exact same comment worded along the lines of: I thought the show was great because… completely changes the conversation. It invites further discussion. I can ask questions, concede points. I think that person may be willing to explore elements they may not have considered before. This encourages me to explore the subject further.

Image result for patema in patema inverted
I really should watch Patema Inverted someday

Since I do want discussion, I try to word my posts and reviews as subjectively as possible. I’m interpreting art after all, there is room for different understandings. It’s not like there’s an actual right or wrong. Although I may not completely change my views just because someone made a great point, I will moderate them and appreciate the work in a different light. I love it when my readers make me smarter. Half my posts get even better in the comments section and it’s a source of joy.

For the most part, my readers are fantastic and give me great meaty comments I can chew on. Honestly, I have been lucky.

It gets much more difficult when it comes time for me to disagree with someone. I’m not the most delicate individual. I myself am quite thick skinned so I don’t always realize what could be hurtful to someone else. I try very hard to be gentle. If ever I fail, you guys should tell me, that’s how I learn. 

Image result for kaito hunter x hunter
I,m a delicate flower!

But I have found that people can get very defensive, very quickly, when you disagree with their posts. Obviously, you’re on their bog, their home turf where all their readers can see your comment so that’s a bit unsettling. Then there’s the instinct to go, well don’t read it if you don’t like it. No one likes to be told they’re wrong after all. Except I can disagree with something and still enjoy it. In fact, I can even disagree with something without thinking it’s wrong. I’m just bringing up a different perspective. If I went to the trouble of reading your post, thinking about it, wording and posting a comment that has an alternate opinion, it’s because I think your post was really interesting and you’re probably smart. I want to see what you’ll respond. I want to talk about it. I don’t have time to just flame posts for giggles and not that many people do.

Sure, sometimes you get reactionary comments. You can tell people haven’t in fact read your posts (I get those on occasion on the episode reviews for some reason). Or you can see the person just has a chip on their shoulder about a particular subject. But most of the time, I think people really do want a conversation and are just a bit clumsy at wording their opinions. Like I said, arguing is a skill, it requires practice.

So next time you don’t have anything nice to say, figure out how to say it respectfully and comment! You never know, if you’re super lucky, you may even end up learning something.

Image result for anime lucky

64 thoughts

  1. I personally find it impossible to call people elder to me (almost everyone on the blog LOL) with names, so I guess that makes me respectful? (Or pretentious…..)
    I guess more than arguments or the fact that people disagree with me it’s just the way it’s framed that sometimes ticks me off.
    Like you said, discussions and opposing opinions are what many of us search for, because it gives us more to find out and more to grow into really.
    Politely disagree, or make a point and we’ll probably become good friends soon!
    Right?
    I guess…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was raised to be respectful as well, but I find that with African culture we’re very blunt by nature. So someone will disagree with you and it may seem harsh, but you’re meant to toss it aside and argue your point. In the end, everyone goes home happy, even though they might be going at it before.

    It’s a bit hard to find a balance, but I think the key point is to be honest, be open, and remember that while you’re not responsible for anyone’s feelings you are responsible for your tone so always be respectful. Likewise, if someone disagrees with you, use it as an opportunity to discover a new point of view instead of immediately thinking that you have to defend yourself.

    Great post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Bless this post!!!! I could not have said it any better myself. I think one of the main reasons why people like blogging is because it gives them an opportunity to have conversations about different ideas and opinions. Its sad that so many people don’t know how to respectfully discuss their opposing opinions. Personally, some of my favorite discussions on my blog have been when people explained why they liked something that I didn’t. It gave me new insight and made me feel more open about looking at the same ting wit a different perspective. I wish we could see that more often.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I have had my problems arguing with people, especially if they are just being rude and my dumb, debate-trained, mind knows that I’m being baited, but doesn’t care because WINNING IS IMPORTANT.

    I’ve been working on fixing that aspect of myself for a long time, and I really wish I could I say I’ve changed, but that’s still up in the air, to be honest. It’s a shame because I do love debating, but certain friends of friends have made me enjoy it significantly less.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post! Like many others here I was also raised to debate rather than argue but in my culture people generally don’t debate that much which gives me a nice look at the other side.

    While yes it would be lovely for us all to debate our points without getting too personally invested like scholars it would also (for me at least) become kind of stale. My most interesting discussions come from extreme cases involving very angry people. I’m sure many of you would describe these people as ‘snowflakes’ (a term I hate now as much as other terms used to degrade people’s opinions/feelings) but the reality is in their minds they had strong reasons to be so aggressive about these views. Maybe I’m just overly empathetic but I can’t help but feel these people are more to be pitied than mocked.

    I’m not sure what the solution is, I definitely want more friendly debate but I also know that generally the people who can’t handle debate are doing so because they have deep seated issues that prevent them doing so, or a lack of experience. This however, doesn’t excuse violent behaviour!

    I guess what I’m uselessly trying to say is everyone is different and weird and has so many reasons for being that way. Rather than seeing what people lack I try to grow from them a different understanding… for more interesting debates xD

    Liked by 2 people

    1. While I will advocate for respect, I would never suggest to dispense with passion. I very much think you should get lost in your point, savor i and feel it to your core. I agree, that’s where the truly rewarding conversations lie.
      Having assisted many academic debates, I would hardly call them calm and neutral (or mature…) Very intellectual people are often super emotional no matter what every movie in the world would have us believe!

      Like

      1. Yes I agree, I think what I’m trying to say is that people at that level (scholars and academics) have had a long time to learn and experience these kinds of debates whereas a lot of debates I’ve been involved in have had people who’ve never got the chance to have such a conversation in a safe environment. This makes them view the argument in a very different way.

        While I wish it wasn’t so I do try and look at it from their perspective and then I can see why some of them just can’t debate.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not much of a status quo shaker most days (in fact, if you argue with me, I’ll probably concede or end the convo first). I guess it really doesn’t help that I tend to have a bunch of opinions that are outside the box but more often than not difficult to word, so sometimes even when you’re reading a blog post from me you’re not getting the entirety of what I think about something and I end up overselling/underselling my positivity on a work. That’s why I stopped doing reviews altogether in the end.

    For online discussions, I think all that really needs to be kept in perspective is to proofread comments to ensure people won’t take them the wrong way, calm down before you type something reactionary and if you think you’re really blunt (or too reactive), using some manners or doing a little more explanation doesn’t hurt either. Great post as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. what is this proofread you speak of??? I understand exactly what you mean, I tend to be very neutral or rather balanced – as in I have a lot of views that cancel each other out… so I’ve pretty much given up on giving the whole picture and just try to concentrate on a single aspect.
      It makes for some very simply and narrow essays but I’m slowly getting better at broadening my thesis.
      I was always impressed by how strong and clear your writing voice is, I must admit I’m really surprised to hear you had such reservations. It’s our loss

      Liked by 1 person

  7. All these essay comments that everyone else is writing and I’m just sitting here, wondering if I should be amazed or jealous. Why do you always get to write these amazing posts?
    No one knows. You are just that good at writing I guess.
    Arguing with people is probably something I hate to do (I’m not sure) and yet trying to convince another person is something I like to do. Those two sound essentially the same but I figure they are pretty different to me…
    On the topic of people arguing with each other about anime, I find those to be pointless, really. In the end, you are just trying to force your opinions on each other, being extremely counterproductive and instead you should try to find common ground and move on from there. (I say this in terms of arguments such as “XX is bad” “No XX is the best in the world”, I myself might have my opinions but I don’t mind someone else finding it shit, really. Maybe I’ll jokingly get angry. Maybe.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess you could call it arguing vs debating….i the end it’s semantics though. and yeah, anime debates are probably useless but so what? Sharing something you truly love with those around you and defending it earnestly does have a certain value I believe. think a lot of people (myself included) aren’t that good at communication so practicing is always a good idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for this post! I love having a blog since I get to talk about anime and I see most come in with the attitude that not everyone will like the same things and I’ve seen mostly an all around general respect. Also I love it when people point out things that I never thought about when watching. We all get to bring our different life experiences to the things we watch and that is what makes is so awesome. Although I don’t think I’ve had a super controversial post, but again, I’ve seen so much respect in these comment that this community feels a bit like home. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone is super nice. You wouldn’t believe how often I hear people tell me in private that they don’t agree with a blogger but don’t “want to start anything…” or “they’re allowed to their view so…”

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I was also raised to respectfully voice my opinion though to tread very carefully when doing so to someone higher than me in the food chain. Still, I’ve found over my life, the people closest to me are those that I seldom agree with, but they are people who challenge me to think and are also open to being challenged. The back and forth exchange, the shared laughter and acceptance when we don’t come to a common viewpoint, or the satisfaction of finely swaying them to my way of thinking, the concessions when faced with a point you can’t disagree with, it is all what makes conversation interesting.
    Recently I wrote the post about why Rukia should have died on Bleach and most people who commented agreed with only one or two expressing a different view. While it is fantastic that many of my readers saw my point, I would have liked someone to outright disagree and provide reasons why Rukia was a much needed character (you know, provided they did it respectfully and didn’t decide to call me an idiot for suggesting the idea in the first place). That could have got a really good conversation going and it could have been a lot of fun.
    Great post.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. It is unfortunate that we have somehow lost the skill for intelligent discussion here in the U.S. and most any disagreement quickly degenerates into name calling and emotional knee jerk reactions. I find I miss intelligent discourse not only on science or politics or religion, but on any subject. Because frankly, most people here only want to hear themselves talk, I find I generally avoid the confrontation and politely end the conversation rather than end up being yelled at. It kinda grosses me out to get other people’s spit on my face.

    Which is probably one reason I love this blog so much, the comment section as much as the posts. I learn stuff. No matter which “side” of the discussion I find myself on, and sometimes I agree with points on both sides, regardless, I am learning something and getting the opportunity to think. Yes, the opportunity.

    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel you. I also get exhausted and just don’t bother trying to make my side known when I feel it’ll go nowhere. It’s too bad. I should try harder but you gotta choose your battles as well…
      Thank you for the compliment! That is one of the best things anyone has said about my blog!

      Like

  11. I feel like I should express some contrary opinion to provoke a discussion…
    But, I agree with you! I’m sorry to say that I agree with you!
    I’m one of those people who really loves to listen to arguments, and even though I totally suck at making them, it’s really rare in my area to have actual arguments. Politics has divided the people around me so much, that they won’t even engage with those who don’t have an unwavering belief in their dogma (even if the one judging doesn’t have the same degree of faith). My family can’t even believe that my best friend is a Republican… Seriously, it’s a pain to live in a society that doesn’t encourage discussion!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Sakasama Patema Is Bad Because …
    I liked the aspect of wording here. Something I never really cared to alter in my discourse because I expected everyone to assume I’m not intending to be disrespectful outright. As a ‘Murican, the difference in perspective about “correcting” someone with a misguided opinion is pretty refreshing. I couldn’t dream of stating my more politically liberal views to my deeply religious conservative family members, though that’s not necessarily within the realm of a “right or wrong” conundrum (usually). Ingraining yourself in posts like this are always what make them worthwhile to me. Great work.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have found that you need to build up a proper rapport first before discussing some things with people. As much as I would like to disagree with some people and try to discuss it with them, there is always that chance you get exactly what you said the defensive one. The amount of times I have been asked the question “Then why did you watch it?” is quite staggering. It is why I find myself writing and rewriting comments that sometimes get posted and others just never end up happening. You become conditioned to be so fearful of expressing anything conflicting at times.

    I do agree with the stance of having conflicting opinions especially when it can allow everyone involved to see things from multiple scenarios. Yet I find that the amount of times that happens is too small to take the chance. I enjoy the chance to be proven wrong no matter how perfect I may be Ahohohohohoho! (Learned that one from Remy, I think I nailed it!) It is just to know when you can have that discussion is always the most difficult thing. I have friends who have dealt with me saying “don’t watch this or that” during watch nights and at times learning how to regulate oneself is always much more difficult than not saying anything. So choosing the easier way out than putting your hand in the jar of barbed wire and salt with the promise of a candy at the bottom is what happens more on reaction I find than the other way around.

    As nice as it is to have a discussion I love keeping my head at times XD

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I do agree with you. I love when people don’t like books I’ve loved or love books I didn’t and make valid points. It makes for great discussion. As you’ve said it’s interpretating. Reading is always a subjective experience. As long as you voice your disagreement respectfully and build it on facts I think you should voice your opinion. It can also be helpful for the author as they can see what remains to improve.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. That is a conversation that needs to be said. Not everyone is going to agree no matter how many facts you bring onto the table. There have been reviews that I posted that I know are going to be conflicting with most people’s opinions and I even confess that I feared getting death threats on two certain reviews I’ve written (interestingly enough, I thought some of those posts were the most honest reviews I’ve done). Sometimes, I’ve gotten some disagreements from people even when someone else and I liked the movie (Your Name was a big one despite some of my qualms with it), but at least people have been respectable so far. I guess with what I do, I tend to focus more on the obscure, so I don’t have that many people who know about the media I critique. I do disagree with people just being trolls or being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. That’s not cool. People need to be honest with each other even if they don’t have the same opinions as the majority.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. To the extent that disagreeing requires a fixed position of my own I fail. To the extent that it doesn’t I disagree to varying degrees with everyone, including myself. That sounds like a joke, and to an extent it is, but not completely. I often know instinctly that I disgree with a statement, but I’m not always sure with what part of it I disagree, and it’s even less clear why. And as I’m formulating my own position, I start to disagree with myself. Formulating opinions feels like a process of estrangement: like the more I wrap it into words the more it takes a life of its own, and it’s no longer completely my own. It’s confusing and not easy to get a handle on. At university, someone once told me that it’s frustrating to listen to me; I have this interesting thought that I develop, and it takes a lot of concentration to follow, and then – suddenly and without a change in my tone of voice – I’d stop short and say something like “but that’s really a lot of nonsense, isn’t it?” I’ve been in the strange position that people who know me well know my position on things better than I do myself.

    Having Mikazuki Yozora (hiding in a horse head) in the header is perfect for this post: she gets frustrated when others don’t speak their mind and usually doesn’t hold back herself, but sometimes…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not entirely sure why but this feels like the perfect comment for this post.
      It’s like when you suddenly realize this is what you were waiting for all this time!

      Like

  17. Is this a canadian thing? If so, what is the difficult to get a work permit there?
    I normally don’t disagree that much with people (in my daily life), or I don’t start debating things with people. Mainly because most of them talk in a way that I know they will not change their minds so why bother?

    However if I do find that there is some hope and they are in fact triggering conversation then I’ll just start giving my opinion and start a great conversation. This, of course if it is something that I love. If someone comes to me and starts giving me their opinion about who is the best soccer player in the World I’ll be… Yeah, you do you! Happy that you have something that you love, but you are talking with the wrong person! 😀

    As usual, a great post and something that will make people think and try to change a little! It is true that our blogs are our little place in the Internet. But, let’s face it, if not for triggering conversations with strange people in the Internet why start one? You can just write your opinion in a doc sheet and live it on your pc. This way you get it out of your system and no one will disagree with you XD I just remembered that last week TPAB wrote a huge comment in my gaming post. He disagreeded with me and point out some mistakes I had done with my review. Happy day of my life!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah TPAB is awesome about getting actual conversations going!
      I got to Canada as an adult and we’re actually notoriously agreeable.
      Still a debate dosen’t have to be an argument and an argument doesn’t have to be bad. I hope you’ll let me know when I’m completely wrong about something!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I also grew-up in a culture that not only respected a lively debate/argument, but encouraged it. It can be difficult to negotiate a good rousing discussion in text/online, and so I applaud your efforts. Please feel free to come argue with me any time. I welcome it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stop writing really incisive beautifully written posts….I’m coming back for Ancient Magus – I have a feeling we may get a back and forth out of that one.

      Like

  19. if you’re not arguing, then you’re just two people with differing opinions talking over each other. at least that’s the way i see it. i grew up in a household that encouraged arguing either side of a proposition because it led to a better understanding, so that’s what ive always done. ive been trying to get better about becoming more vocal about my opinions, though. i tend to be very thick skinned as well, so i can understand the apprehension, though

    Liked by 2 people

  20. It can be hard for some people to be honest and open with their opinions and simultaneously be accepting of other people’s opinions, especially when things as fragile as ego’s come into it. I admire your attitude on the subject and hope I can one day I can be even a fraction as self-assured and thick-skinned when it comes to this Internet life as you are.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Geez, you really need to stop talking about me in your blog Irina. All these posts about me are getting our of hand. I know I shouldn’t have be so disrespect about all my comments… But, really! 😂😂😅😉🍻 I agree though. I’ve been really lucky with my comments section so far, but every time I open my fat trap and it’s not to put booze in it, I worry about who I might offend because some people take things too seriously when I’m just trying to have a fun debate. Different of opinion spurs conversation. If you’re not strong enough to defend your opinion, then you should be rethinking that opinion!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. You young whippersnappers are so delicate. Makes me glad to be Generation X. We were encouraged to disagree but still be friends. Its our level of civic and civil responsibility. Most of my generation had Baby Boomers for parents, and they did ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING WRONG they could possibly do, just to see why their folks didn’t do things that way, and maybe see if the wrong way was better. From Baby Boomers we got lots of terrible diseases and idiot presidents and bad laws and several wars. My Generation had no power and even as the Boomers are dying or retiring, we are still outnumbered by the Snowflakes who like the Boomers do everything WRONG and lack the self awareness and never paid attention in History class, probably because they were TAUGHT WRONG, AS A JOKE, probably be rotten school teachers and worse journalists with agendas of creating communism to reshape (and destroy) Western civilization by removing that basic civil responsibility to listen to others without hating. Boomer stopped listening. They didn’t manage to destroy my education, but they did by the time the Millenials were turned into Snowflakes. Snowflakes can’t allow themselves to cope with differences, and that’s the real curse of social media. All your mistakes last, and the courtesy goes out the window.

    The solution is to do what my generation does. Keep on, keeping on. Outlive the stupid. Someday the Boomers will be dead and we can throw out their mistakes and teach them in school so kids will know better than to make them in their lives. My generation sees the Boomers, and the Snowflakes, as pathetic. We pity them. They are irrational and self destructive fascists and they don’t even realize it. I am told that the newest generation, after the Snowflakes, called Generation Zero, has discovered independence from Social media, is bored with simulations and wants real experiences, real books made from real paper, and being with real friends in person not talking online. Online has its place, but so does solitude and making your own decisions. Feel free to share, but don’t NEED it. Don’t become dependent on the responses, on the feedback from people online.

    That’s my advice as your elder. Take it or not. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great advice. I don’t think I’m particularly dependent on strangers’ opinions but I do appreciate anything that can make me smarter for free!
      Also – because it makes me happy, I’M going to assume from this comment that yu think I’m young and not just immature

      Like

            1. Don’t get me wrong. Your offer is tempting. Having hobbies in common can be a great basis for a relationship. If you were close enough to date I’d be interested.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. You probably have the looks of Luna Lovegood (grown up) and are a rich supermodel heiress, so I’m sure its my loss in the end. Life is often like that.

              Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment and make my day!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s