You Can’t Argue with A Feeling

There’s a point in a serious, hard to resolve conflict where nothing you can say or do will avert a terminal impasse. It is no longer possible to talk about objective things that actually happened and find any agreement, we’re in the realm of feelings – hurt feelings, at that – so, everybody gets to be right.

Everybody gets to be right. You get to have very fine people, on every side of every issue. You get to have courts rule in your favor with or without evidence, if you have the power to make them feel the way you do. You get to be right, no matter how strong the case is that you’re wrong.

Among people who care about each other, things can be done to soothe hurt feelings. The first thing we do for someone is listen, without trying to correct anything the person is feeling. Between people who despise each other, or have hurt each other beyond caring, hurt feelings are their just desert for being assholes — you know, fuck ’em.

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