How to get along with Idiots.

It seems there are two sides to every issue today: the right side and the idiots. I want to challenge you not to take this viewpoint. Putting people into boxes is a trick your brain uses to conserve calories. It makes things easy.

If you want to burn more calories and improve your view of people and the world, try these three things.

Take time each day to think about the day’s topics; how do you feel about them. Try to filter out all the talking points you have heard. Form your own. Are you repeating things you have listened to or taking the time to think through and form your own opinions? Just repeating what you have heard is easy. Thinking through the issues is hard—more on repeaters below.

Be comfortable not having an opinion. Most of us do not have the time to have a formed opinion on everything going on. Do not be forced into voicing yours if you have not done the work.

If you want to confuse someone who wants to argue with you, say this: “I don’t have enough information on that subject to have an opinion. Do you have some resources so I could get more informed?” Silence or swear words will usually follow.

Read and consume various media. Expose yourself to multiple viewpoints. Make an effort to read and seek out opposite views to your own.

I will go into the above one a bit more. Exposing your mind to opposing viewpoints is game-changing.

Knowing both sides of an argument is powerful for a few reasons.

It allows you to see if you are discussing a topic with a repeater or with a thoughtful person. Repeaters are people who repeat what they have seen or heard. There is generally nothing behind the talking point, and they generally can not engage in meaningful discussion. It is typically not worth your time talking with repeaters. Walk away, disengage, stop replying.

You knowing the other side of an argument also usually gives you some understanding of the positions why.

Suppose you can clearly state the other sides’ why. Generally, this act alone will cause the person of the opposite viewpoint to pause. You stating their talking points and reasons are jarring in this day and age. It shows you understand. No more shouting required. Now you can talk about why you disagree. This is a beautiful thing and rare today.

How does this relate to fitness? Well, in two ways, you will burn more calories thinking for yourself, and two, your ability to get along with others will make your gym a more welcoming and thriving community.

Joshua J Grenell