Category: Human Relations

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

I've criticized people for not getting their minds out of high school, and I stand by that criticism. Even when it applies to me.

On the other hand, high school is the first time we learn some lessons about life. When we think about the lessons, we naturally think about where we got them.

One lesson I got was that how we act toward ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

Can you feel the love?

It's kind of a cliché, sometimes said as a joke. But it points to a real problem.

For any society to survive, its people need to cooperate. That requires at least a minimum level of trust and concern for each other's welfare. We need to "feel the love."

It's easiest to feel that way toward ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

Are you good enough as you are, or do you think you can do better?

That question highlights the paradox of self-improvement.

Before you can make your life better, you must believe you're worthy of something better.

That means accepting and loving yourself as you are right now. But at the same time, it requires you to ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

Do you have friends who say things that are obviously wrong?

Maybe it's politics, religion, gender, or some other touchy subject.

This might help: Your friends aren't lying.

And they're not evil, either, unless you have very bad judgment about choosing friends.

That doesn't make their beliefs correct. But it might ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

Suppose that Joe believes he's a parakeet. Is that okay?

It depends.

If Joe goes to work, obeys the law, fulfills his responsibilities, and doesn't drive people nuts by making bird noises, then I'd say it's okay. The belief makes him happy. It doesn't hurt anyone else. We should leave Joe alone.

However, if Joe eats only seeds, ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

When you disagree with someone, how can you keep the argument focused on the issues?

You don't want to get sidetracked, and you especially don't want the discussion to turn into a screaming match.

The previous blog post ("How to Argue Productively") explained how to manage the logical side of an argument.

This ...

Written by: N.S. Palmer | Posted on: | Category:

Most arguments aren't productive. But argument can be productive if you do it right.

The First Rule

The first rule of productive argument is the same as in many other areas: Define your goals.

Do you want to discover the truth, understand the other person, or just win a competition?

This ...

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