Tuesday, December 4, 2012


In a cricket game, every bowler has only one objective: to get the batsman out as quickly as possible. Sending the batsman back on a duck, would be a mighty thrill!

And, at the other end, the batsman, too, has only one objective: to stay there as long as possible. A century would be a dream!

So, it takes a lot to outwit your opponent… You have to hold your nerves!

Well, it is in a game, a sport… where the objective is to defeat your opponent so that you can win. You can not play the game from any other frame of mind… If you are a bowler, you need to possess in your heart that killer instinct to get your opponent out… and, if you are a batsman, you need to possess in you that never-say-die instinct to stay there long, frustrating your opponent.

Let me apply this to another familiar game – ‘Mind Game’ - called ‘Argument’.

Like the batsman and the bowler, it takes two to play this game!

Who are these two?

When you argue as a lawyer or a politician, your objective is to score a point… by defeating your opponent’s… But, in all other arguments, this objective is a ‘toxic waste’. Carried recklessly in our relationships, it can be destructive!

In any relationship, the objective is ‘closeness’… which can be achieved only through a ‘win-win’ frame of mind. Unfortunately, when we operate from our egoes, hurt feelings, pre-conceived prejudices and past grudges, the sole objective of our arguments is to defeat the other person at any cost. Period. We get so blinded by this obsession that we forget that such a victory – by vanquishing the other person – would leave us alone, all isolated!

It is a self-defeating victory! A fallacy!

If ‘closeness’ is the objective of our arguments,
then, we will certainly learn to make our points…
get our grievances registered…
and stay away from the ‘verbal bloodbath’!
In fact, every bloodbath has its origin
in some blinded argument!

While we have the legitimate right to voice our disagreements, disapprovals, and grievances… we have no business to ‘slay the character’ of the other person… Whatever type of relationship it may be. We have nothing to gain by defeating the other person… We have only to lose!

So, before it all goes too far, all of us have the same basket to pick from:

Should it be a ‘Win-Lose’?... 

Or, should it be a ‘Lose-Win’?... 

Or, should it be a ‘Win-Win’?

Any argument at the cost of our closeness is none of the above…

It is ‘Lose-Lose’!

When fire is burning in an oven, the worst thing you can offer is - oil!


Pics.: Manoj Nair


Varuna Gandhi said...

I liked the example of fire, with which u have ended ur post; it tells it all!! Thanks. Varuna

Kaajal Navani said...

I have always struggled with this issue of arguments. Have experienced a great deal of isolation. Felt nice reading your article. Thank you Gerry.
- Kaajal Navani

Anonymous said...

Very much required. Heena