#64: Never argue with an idiot

“Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.”

Mark Twain is often credited this quote. There might be doubts whether he’s the originator or not. But there are no doubts at all:

  1. There’s a lot of truth in this saying.
  2. There are many fools out there.
  3. Sooner or later, you’ll face them.

Nearly every single day, there’s a workshop where one special kind of person will draw all attention to himself / herself using strange arguments. Or in a meeting – mostly when executives are attending – one guy will try to move himself to the front burner arguing with unprovable “facts” or statements. Or in a professional discussion one person is trying to convince by confusing all the others. In settings like these, it’s quite easy to be drawn into an useless and meaningless discussion. It’s quite easy to get sucked deeper and deeper into an aimless and objectless argument getting more and more personal and foolish.

In settings like these, take a deep breath. Or two. Remember rule #64: Never argue with an idiot. Don’t let yourself be fooled and dragged down. And break the discussion.

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