Dealing with the Irrational

How do you deal with people who aren’t rational? Who can’t and won’t listen to reason?

I’m a firm believer in the adage: Want better answers? Ask better questions.

Here’s a few that might help:

  • Are you asking this because they won’t listen to what YOU have to say?
  • Who isn’t emotionally led?
  • What is the real issue at hand? The conversation behind the conversation.
  • Ultimately what is it that you want? You. If this were part of a larger plan what matters most to you in the long run, not at this particular moment, but in the long run?
  • If who we are is determined by what we do, how do you want to respond to this situation?

Finally, the answer to the first question: How do you deal with people who aren’t rational?

You don’t.

If you’re seeking to be understood? Seek first to understand. Often that means seeking to understand the other person’s perspective, to have empathy. And I agree with that, partly. The challenge lies in how do we do that exactly, because the only way to better understand other people is to better understand ourselves. Which is actually the hard part.

When you ask the question, how do deal with irrational people? Maybe you need to ask yourself, how am I being irrational? Even if the answer is, by expecting other people to be rational.

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