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Vegan Catlady;56657 wrote: It never ever occurred to me that sharing a different perspective would receive so much resistance.
There may actually be different reasons for such resistance.
One possible reason for resistance is that the receiver cannot distinguish between the person and the viewpoint. So if you challenge his viewpoint, he feels as if you were challenging him personally, even if you clearly are only addressing the viewpoint, while respecting the person. This can often be addressed by explicitly spending what seems like too many words on ensuring that you fully respect the other person AND his opinions, but that you have a different opinion to add – not as a replacement for his opinion, but as an addition. Doing so will often remove the perceived attack from your words. The other person will often come to respect you, even if you’ll never agree on all points.
Another possible reason for resistance is that the receiver is afraid to lose control. As long as his opinion is the only opinion being voiced, he feels like being able to control all readers into accepting his viewpoint and thus into behaving the way he wants. That’s total control over sheeplike others by means of censorship – but such a person doesn’t see it like that, he sees it like guiding others toward their best interest. Your differing opinion removes his control over the crowd. You are undermining his leadership. That’s a hard thing to experience. Thus, such a person will react with venom and hostility. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found a way to deal with such persons. All I can think of is publicly exposing their behaviour. I try to do this in a polite, respectful, yet direct (and therefore possibly confronting) way. This will usually result in a fight. More often than not, other readers will gradually chime in as they see how narrow-minded the former self-proclaimed forum leader is. The now dethroned former leader often leaves the forum with a grudge. That’s unfortunate, because I’d much prefer to have a decent dialogue, but I haven’t yet found any other way out.
Vegan Catlady;56657 wrote: Challenging a topic with substance is of value but its only going to be of value to those who actually want to grow. To the rest it causes a butting of heads, because it forces one to think.
Correct. But then, all one can do is offer a different (usually broader) viewpoint. One cannot force others to accept that viewpoint. One can only make it available, as an offer that can be accepted or rejected.
Some will accept the offer, read the new viewpoint, and accept that viewpoint. That’s great.
Some will accept the offer, read the new viewpoint, and reject that viewpoint. That’s fine. Really, it is – because the new viewpoint has at least been given some thought. It is not being rejected without knowing its substance, it is being rejected with a reason – which is good.
Some will reject the offer. They will not open up to anything new. They deny themselves the chance to grow, and they don’t even realize what they’re doing. That’s a pity (especially for them) – but there is nothing one can do about it. It’s a personal choice that cannot be influenced.
Vegan Catlady;56657 wrote: Basically I have to change.
Not really. Only your reaction to certain assaults has to change. It’s a lesson that also applies to the real world: what happens to you does not only depend on the things that are happening. It also depends on your reaction to the things that are happening.
You cannot always influence what happens around you. Can can influence how you react to those things.
Vegan Catlady;56657 wrote: I can react to the passive aggressive following in the forum, or I can take a breather- see the value in my participation- and continue to offer info.
I do not know of any law that requires me to react to a hostile post within a short timeframe. Therefore, when I encounter hostility, I often shut down the computer, do other things that are much more pleasant and much more rewarding, and I reply to the hostile post only three or four days later, sometimes even two weeks later.
You can see this in various places on this forum. Sometimes I reply within minutes, sometimes I take days or weeks to reply. The latter gives me time to not be upset, and usually my response will be much better. It will be more thought over, it will be more calm, and it will be more polite – which, in such cases, provides a lot of strength.