It is Possible to be Pro Something Without Being Anti Something Else
I am at a conference where people are in a constant state of trying to convince me of things, and I mean that in the most positive of ways. It is almost all good advice, and it’s floating around me, waiting for me to suck it up like a sponge. It ranges from the amorphous (speak up for yourself) to the concrete (pitch to periodicals like this).
There are two ways of presenting an idea, and I realized at the conference that only one way is palatable, at least, to me.
A person can be pro something without demeaning the other choices not taken. I can choose chocolate and simply say that it’s a flavour that works for me while still leaving room for you to choose vanilla without feeling as if I’m looking down at all other ice cream choices.
Or a person can take the weaker route and put down the competitive product or idea in order to try to grab strength for their own. I can choose chocolate while mocking vanilla as well as the people who choose vanilla. And now, if vanilla had been on your mind, you feel like shit, not focused on how maybe you should consider chocolate but rather how you feel about how I’ve spoken about vanilla.
I listened to both approaches yesterday. In one, a person gently led me towards her ideas, being respectful that in being very much pro her way of doing things that she wasn’t anti any other road not taken. And in another, a person shoved me towards ideas, carelessly alienating people who may have been open to the ideas, and they did this by being anti the roads not taken in order to be pro the single chosen option.
Just an observation that the message of the latter person was lost on me. The message of the former person not only got through but will likely be repeated to others.
It’s funny how that works.