Did you know that married couples that get in arguments at the start of their relationships tend to outlast those who don’t? Socially, there’s a lot of pressure not to go at it, but that’s unhealthy, because such tends to sweep troubles under the rug. Instead, what society needs schooling in is how to argue more effectively.
There is, of course, an understandable reason for not wanting more arguments, and that’s because of all the irresolved public quarrels, politically, and socially, still going on. At best, these pressures are signs of socio-political dynamism; at worst, they lead to fragmentation.
I argue, because I like to goad others in a direction I deem useful. I have all sorts of suspicions about my opponent, but you can only only engage what’s right in front of you, of course. The trick, you see, is bringing to the front what you wish to engage effectively.
That means, of course, being willing to create tension, but hopefully none too much, which is where getting someone to play good-cop-bad-cop helps. Shrinks keep on lecturing about how just plastering someone you’re mad at’s unproductive, but at the same time it’s therapeutic, even as it typically raises the defenses within the one being plastered.
Instead of being gun shy, learn to turn the tension up and down to suit the circumstances. As someone once said, “Love isn’t the opposite of hate…it’s indifference.” Too little tension is a turn-off, just as surely as hate is, but even as unpleasant as hate is, it still reeks of connection. These days, I think I could use a little of it.
Agree to to disagree? What fun is that? Anger, largely, is us standing closer than we’d like, unable to do otherwise, and hence jockeying for position. If we share space, then we’d best share love, given we already share friction, too, and that means forging trust out of rancor as a working method to make the best out of this bind.
If such is life, then I daresay we’d best make the most of it.