Speaking about Argument


1.    Do you get along with argumentative people?

No, not at all. For those controversial people (người hay mâu thuẫn) who always seek chances to argue, I will stay away from them because whatever I say can be fuel for argument with them. That is nonsense since arguments is destructive (phá hủy) for relationships, I believe.

2.    Are you passionate about your beliefs?

Obviously, I steadfastly stick to (gắn chặt với) my beliefs because they are what stand the test of time (được kiểm chứng qua thời gian) in my life and also what I sleep on (suy nghĩ nhiều) and consolidate (củng cố)through my personal experience and reflection. Therefore, whenever I talk about my beliefs, I mention only the beliefs themselves but also evidences, and examples to support and clarify them.

3.    Do you ever try to impose your beliefs on others?

How can one do so? Everyone has a unique predilections (sở thích riêng) and way of life (cách sống). How can something be imposed on people without their agreement? It just won’t work. What I can do, I believe, is to share my beliefs and ask for people’s comments or reflections. Obviously that opinion exchange should happen in a proper time. It shouldn’t look like something I talk to my children every day to make them bored. Because when I exert constant forces (ép thường xuyên) on other people to bend their thoughts, the chance is that (khả năng là) it will be counterproductive. (phản tác dụng)

4.    Do you at times enjoy “playing the devil’s advocate” (debating for the fun of it)?

Yes, but very limited because the boundary between fun and frustrated is very slim (ranh giới giữa vui và bực mình rất mong manh). I don’t know when I will step over that boundary and heat up the debate too much to create a real argument. It hurts feelings, so I am really cautious (cẩn trọng) about it. But just by listening to the voice and looking at facial expressions, one can recognize the threshold (ngưỡng cửa) of discomfort in the conversational partner and STOP fooling around. (chơi dại)

5.    Would you describe yourself as an argumentative person?

I won’t because I will rarely be the one who starts the argument. Only for important cases that I can foresee the negative consequence of what my beloved do, will I interfere and talk about what is right or wrong and give precaution.(cảnh báo) But in case someone starts the argument first, if the matter is considered trivial,(nhỏ nhặt) my limit of tolerance (giới hạn chịu đựng) is quite low and the chance that I walk away from the argument is quite high. I used to be argumentative, and that always brought me nothing nice but failure and cracks in my relationships. (rạn nứt trong quan hệ) So I decide to just zip my mouth (giữ im lặng) and walk away when I encounter (gặp phải) unnecessary argument. It really only hurts people, I believe.

6.    What other adjectives would you associate with an argumentative person?

Aggressive (sân si), single-minded person (suy nghĩ 1 chiều), arrogant (kiêu ngạo), hot-tempered, stubborn (ngang bướng)

7.    In your opinion is being argumentative a positive trait or a flaw? (hay tranh cãi là tính tốt hay tính xấu)

It definitely is a flaw as it highly likely causes discontentment, (sự bất bình) fuel hatred, (tạo ra sự căm ghét) and rage wars (gây chiến) in conversations or discussions.

8.    Are you easily persuaded in an argument?

It depends, if people can give me sound proofs (chứng cứ tốt) for what they say which resonates (cộng hưởng) with my experience, I will be convinced, unless I will sleep on the issue and only change my course of actions (hướng hành động) if I can find compelling reasons (lý do xác đáng) to do so later. But for sure, I may argue at that moment, but I do not let go of the problems. I usually revisit the issues and work out the solutions later.  

9.    Have you ever taken part in a debate? Did you have to defend an opinion that wasn’t your own? If so, was it easy? Did it make you re-evaluate your own views?

I do so mostly in class, just to assist my students to think on both sides of an issue. I divide the class in two side and create situations for them to debate. Obviously, there are cases that one side is too weak to defend themselves because the side they take goes against the main school of thought (luồng tư tưởng). In such cases, even it is contradicting my belief, I have to suggest ways to back up that weak side of the maverick. (người không theo lối mòn truyền thống, người thiết lập xu hướng mới) And it is challenging to do so, but it gives me comprehensive look at the matter, and sometimes it makes me re-evaluate my own views. You know, it is really hard to say which factor is the gamechanger (nhân tố làm thay đổi tình hình) before you bring it into scrutiny. (xem xét kĩ lưỡng)

10. How do you feel when someone disagrees with everything you have to say?

I feel as if I were invisible to that person and also I feel that any bond with that person starts to break down. For such a person, definitely, that is not the one I can socialize with if I want to avoid trouble I think.

11. Do have a “butinski” (người hay can thiệp, xen vào chuyện người khác) in your family? Do you tend to but in?

Yes, unfortunately, and I don’t really want to tell you who the person is but it really drives me nuts. I decide to stay away from that source of intrusion (nguồn xâm phạm tự do cá nhân) to stay independent and have my own personal sovereignty (nghĩa bóng lãnh thổ cá nhân) with trenches (hào rãnh xung quanh thành trì) around to prevent that person from meddling in (can thiệp quậy phá) my business.

12. At work do you often voice your opinions on controversial issues? If so, what kind of reception do you get?

I definitely don’t say a thing. Their organization, their rules. I decide to stay out of any controversial issues unless it affect my benefits which require me to defend.

13. Do you steer clear of some touchy topics or do you get a kick out of (idiom thích thú) provoking (khiêu khích) others? (Bạn có tránh các chủ đề nhạy cảm hay bạn thích chọc ghẹo người khác?)

I definitely avoid sensitive subjects. I know people often make fun of those touchy topics, but I am also fully aware that people have fun because they think others are either silly, weak, clumsy, or anything negative, and such fun often goes with irony or sarcasm (sự mỉa mai). The provoker has fun, but the provoked may be hurt or feel uncomfortable to some extent. That may lead to their wish to retaliate (trả thù), and the mocking is just juggled (tung hứng qua lại) among those involved and no one really has comfort at all.

14. How do you feel when you have a hunch (có cảm giác, linh cảm) that someone’s not paying attention to what you have to say? Do you raise your voice? Do you get nasty?

In that case, I will do a check to see if the person is really paying attention or not by asking a question related to what I have talked about. If the answer proves that the person are not interested in what I share, I will just stop right away unless it is just a waste of my time to keep talking.

15. How do you grab someone’s attention when you’re making a point? What can you do to lose it?

My tactic (cách thức) is going straight to the point first, and then explain later if that is necessary. A lot of introduction to an issue will be very demotivating for listeners, especially impatient ones. So going to the heart of the matter and then make ways around it is preferred by many. Also, to involve other people into our stuff, we need to show them the relevance to their business. In such cases, the practical meaning (ý nghĩa thực tiễn) of the issue will in itself be the stimuli (sự khích lệ) for listeners to absorb information. 

16. Are hand gestures useful in an argument?

Sure they are. They emphasize the weighting (trọng số, tầm quan trọng) of opinions in the talk, and add emphasis into the viewpoints together with appropriate speaking tones. (giọng điệu)

17. Do you think it’s disrespectful to argue with your elders?

Yes, I think so, and I believe it is unnecessary to argue with the elderly. We can choose to live up to their expectation (sống theo kì vọng của họ) or to lead life in our own ways (sống theo cách riêng của mình) independently. The opinions of the elderly can be a reference and do not have to be the demand we need to follow immediately. So one or two ideas to exchange with the older people are enough, and then our job is to sleep on their words (suy nghĩ thêm) to see if we should follow them or not.

18. Do you often feel patronized in an argument? (cảm giác bị đối xử với thái độ kẻ cả bề trên)

No, I don’t think so, I have the total control of my engagement in the argument and can back out (rút ra khỏi) at any time, so how can I let myself be patronized often?


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