Don’t be THAT kind of “Skeptic”

One of the hazards of taking a skeptical viewpoint is to come off as an overbearing, balloon-busting, party-pooper, know-it-all. This is NOT advisable behavior in order to make friends and influence people. It will make people just hate you.

There are certainly situations where it’s appropriate to go in all guns blazing. There will be justifiable times for strong language, hard hitting rebuttals, and perhaps even ridicule. But, casual conversation with friends, relatives or colleagues is NOT typically one of those situations.

It’s a skill to learn how to be pleasant and helpful instead of pushy and rude. It’s simply not smart to cram your (informed but) opposing view in everyday conversation. Grandstanding or making yourself out to be better or smarter than those adopting the other side of the argument will be disastrous. Instead, volunteer sound, evidence-based information in an attempt to be gently persuasive. Plant the seed then let people either accept it or reject it. Continued pushing will inevitably make your listener tune out and possibly end up not wanting to associate with you anymore.

Suggested link (podcast and transcript): How to Be a Skeptic and Still Have Friends.

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