Knowing what you know is one thing, being able to communicate it is another. From my limited and anecdotal perspective, it seems that there is a lack of emotional intelligence. There is a prevailing mentality of “Phh, you don’t think like me? You’re an idiot!”
Here’s the thing, you can know a great deal, but if you come at others with both guns blazing, and belligerently attacking those around you, your thoughts and opinions don’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you come across a blog, YouTube video, or a random stranger in public, the rules of conduct still apply. However, in the age of the internet where people are rarely seen as people, but are instead words on a screen, it is easy for us all to forget this.
If you traverse the internet or the real world with a chip on your shoulder, you aren’t deserving of anyone’s attention. Folks like these have an utter lack of emotional intelligence, simplifying their “opponents” to cheap caricatures. Often armed with bits of knowledge, their arrogance blinds them and it makes them hostile to anyone with a differing viewpoint, so they lash out. Here’s the thing, most if not all of us have been guilty of this at some point in our lives.
It’s true, not all opinions are valid. Some opinions are dangerous. The trap comes when we view all “outsiders” as dangerous and an existential threat. The irony here is that this mentality in and of itself is dangerous and toxic.
Another point to remember is that it is utterly ineffective to be aggressive and belligerent when discussing sensitive topics. We can all be guilty of this from time to time. I know I have, and I’m sure you have too, because you’re human. We must take great care not to let it become a lifestyle. Making mistakes and learning from them is one thing, being an arrogant jerk is quite another.
At the end of the day, those with an axe to grind are often reacting to some hurt in the past and cannot see past this. Those with this attitude do not deserve to be engaged with. Refusing engagement will likely result in personal assaults, but in the end it’s them deflecting the hurt they feel and wish to make others suffer with them.
I believe this accounts for many of the internet trolls and bullies. They get a sense of joy hurting others and treating them subhuman. Therefore, their opinions on knowledge doesn’t matter. They don’t want to discuss, despite what they may claim, they want to punish and force their views on others. Also, folks like this are as closed-minded as a person can get, and whatever knowledge he/she may possess will be tainted by their hurt and anger (bias).
I’m learning more slowly than I would like to admit that folks who aggressively pursue anyone outside their think-tank aren’t deserving of a response. We can have different views, we can have our bias, but we need to be able to look past that and understand that the people we are interacting with are people whose lives do not revolve around you.
These are the words I leave you for the weekend. May we all ponder on how we can treat others better and communicate with emotional intelligence. None of us are entitled to treat another person “however we want.”