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My Feelings Don't Care About Your Facts
Ben Shapiro is famous for coining the cute riposte "facts don't care about your feelings". It's hard to argue against facts, but facts are often irrelevant and superfluous without sufficient context.
Human beings are not machines. If I were to say to my mother "you've had a serious stroke, you're in grave danger, your cognitive function is massively impaired and the quality of your life has been reduced significantly", those might all be facts, but I'd be a complete bastard if I went with the facts.
Shapiro's business model is provocation. There is a growing crowd of such people, some of whom use facts stripped of context or heavily contextualised falsehoods to batter their opponents.
We are human precisely because we consider the feelings of others before opening our mouths. We shouldn't feel inadequate if we don't immediately have the full context or argumentation to respond to provocateurs. That's why they make money at it and we don't. Don’t let them live rent free in your head, or you’ll soon be a raving far-right extremist. The descent is rapid for the unprepared mind!
Remember all this the next time someone is trying to make you do something you don't feel like doing through the use of facts that are stripped of your context. Your feelings are not uninformed. Your feelings are based on the facts of your life. They are a highly evolved response mechanism that lets you make decisions quickly. That said, your feelings might be wrong, but the time to change the way you think is not when someone is bombarding you and making you feel bad. Nor is that the time to let your own position weaken.
Don't be rude, don't lash out, don't say something you might regret or that might even be untrue in an attempt to defend yourself. Take a breath. Listen. Buy yourself some time. This is also how you get rid of pushy sales people. They want to hear your objections, because they have scripts for your objections. Don't object. Just buy yourself time. Always take your time when you need to.
Then it's up to you whether you want to give the counter after your own process of consideration, or whether you think your time would be better spent elsewhere. You’d be surprised at how often it’s the latter.