Remove the word “feel” and see how you feel about it

party-spock

One of the greatest fallacies in any argument is using the word “feel”. 

Let’s say you’re having a bad day. Saying “I feel sad” is perfectly reasonable. 

Let’s say someone is ruining your day by their behavior. Saying “I feel that you’re ignoring me” is actually a pretty flawed way of staring that debate. Feelings are subjective, and as soon as you try to objectify them they become dismissible because an equally valid argument is to say that “I feel that you are wrong”. 

Try saying “I have observed your behavior towards me, and from what I have seen I have noted that you prioritize a lot more people and activities than me”. 

Now your argument has a starting point. 

The same goes for choices. Every time I avoid something out of “a feeling” my loved ones remind me that fear itself is not enough of a good argument.

So instead of saying “I feel that this will end badly”, I rephrase to “my vast experience of action x has led me to conclude that action x will lead to negative outcomes”. 

And suddenly my argument contains empiricism and statistics.

It may make you sound like a Vulcan for a while, but it is an excellent exercise in becoming a sharper debater. 

So instead of saying “I feel”, try saying

I think…..

I appraise…..

I’ve experienced

I’ve observed

I’ve concluded etc…

Try it for a while and see how you feel about it.

 

 

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