The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.

 October 9, 2014


Know When To Hold ‘Em!

By Rooney


I was cruisin’ on that ol’ information superhighway the other night and came across this article on LifeHacker by a fella named Patrick Allan and I thought that he makes a pretty danged good point … check it out!  Well, you don’t really have to … I plagiarized it right here for you, but I am giving ol’ Pat all the credit:


Five Ways to Tell a Battle Isn't Worth Fighting

Patrick Allan


It can be tough identifying the right times to fight for something.  You want to stand up for what you think is right, but you also don't want to exacerbate the confrontation.  These simple guidelines can help you decide when it's worth your time.


When you get into it with someone, things can get pretty heated.  There can be lasting effects from a confrontation about something small.  Kathleen Kelley Reardon at Big Think put together a great list of times when it's best not to engage in battle:

  1. There's a low probability of winning without doing excessive damage.

  2. Upon reflection, winning isn't as important as it originally seemed.

  3. There likely will be a time down the line when you can raise the issue again with a different person or in a different way.

  4. The other party's style is provocative whether speaking with you or others, so it's not worth taking personally.

  5. You could win on the immediate issue, but lose big in terms of the relationship.

  6. Is this battle with strangers on the internet? It's not worth fighting. Except for fun, or as a way to keep your debate chops up.  (this one was added by one of the commenters!  I liked it and went ahead and made Patrick’s article “Six Ways …”.)

We've talked about fighting for what actually matters before, but it's a good idea to have a quick rundown to help you in the moment.  Think about what winning would actually mean in the situation.  Chances are it doesn't always matter as much as you think it does.”


I think that ol’ Pat has hit it pretty much on the head with his little article – You know … “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em”![i]  Or something along those lines!  There are certainly a lot of things in this ol’ world that are worth fightin’ for … and, unfortunately, there are just as many that aren’t!!!!


Well, you know …


“Any moment in life can turn into a heated argument, but most shouldn't.  Conversely, you may not have the energy or confidence to stand up for yourself when it matters.  Whether you fight too much or too little, you have a problem choosing your battles.  Here's how to choose your battles and get what you want when it actually matters.


I was raised by a devil's advocate father (this is soooo true with dad ) and a mother who likes to stand up for the little guy (yep, that’s mom-D), so I'm naturally inclined to take the opposite side of most points ... whether I agree with them or not.   While it's good to see things from other perspectives, it's horrible to argue them all.  You can forego stress for yourself and others by approaching conflict both at the right times and more effectively.  While I've learned a few things from my experience of changing my ways as a conflict-seeking individual, I'm no expert. I spoke with relationship and family therapist Roger S. Gil to find the best approaches to better conflict.


Learn Where Your Line of Conflict Should Lie

We all feel anger, but whether or not we act on it depends on a number of factors.  Among them, confidence and forethought play a large role.  Sometimes our anger gets the best of us, and we argue without thinking it through.  Other times, we don't feel confident enough to argue effectively when we should.


What You Need to Consider When Choosing Your Battles

Finding your line of conflict makes the largest difference, and your style of conflict is a personal decision.  However, a few commonalities exist in most approaches.  Roger suggests you should ask yourself this question every time: "is the situation so distressing that it needs to be addressed?"  (this is a “deep enough” statement that Bubba might’ve thought it!  Really, read it again!)  Your answer will help you avoid undesirable reactions.


Fight Constructively

You shouldn't fight any battle if you can't do so constructively.  If your goal is to hurt or just express your anger, you're fighting for the wrong reasons.  Every single argument you have ought to aim to improve an undesirable situation. In other words, "don't pick a battle or ignore a situation until you know what outcome you'd like."


Practice Makes Perfect

Most skills require practice before you're any good.  The importance of practice in choosing your battles cannot be understated: it is exceptionally important.  While we can offer up tips and suggestions, changing your behavior and understanding the behavior of others requires effort.  You'll need to try and fail a lot, then learn from your experiences.  You can't walk away after reading this post and expect your conflict aptitude to rise to genius levels.  That said, these tips should give you a starting point to choosing your battles better.”


Well, I can’t take credit for this one either … I paraphrased/condensed an article by Adam Dachis - also on LifeHacker.  But still, this stuff definitely rings true … if you can walk away and be the bigger person, that’s probably almost always the better choice … but if you have to fight … by God, pull off the gloves, fight hard, and settle it quickly[ii]!  When you fight, fight to WIN!!       





Some Quotes that I hope will compliment this article:


“The scientific name for an animal that doesn't either run from or fight its enemies is ... lunch."

Michael Friedman


“Conflict is going to happen whether you want it or not.  People will butt heads.  Sometimes when you least expect it."

Jimmy Bise Jr.


“Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage.  The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict."

William Ellery Channing


“If you go in for argument, take care of your temper.  Your logic, if you have any, will take care of itself."

Joseph Farrell


“If someone offers you a gift, and you decline to accept it, the other person still owns that gift.  The same is true of insults and verbal attacks."

Steve Pavlina

(pretty dang deep ... each time I read it, it means more!!!!)


“Convincing yourself doesn't win an argument."

Robert Half


“A lot of good arguments are spoiled by some fool who knows what he is talking about."

Author Unknown


“I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent.  People know this, and steer clear of me at parties.  Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.”

Dave Barry


“Never go to bed mad.  Stay up and fight.”

Phyllis Diller


“With reasonable men I will reason; with humane men I will plea; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost.”

William Lloyd Garrison








[i] Yeppers … that’s ol’ Kenny Rogers, The Gambler.  A number one song back in 1978.  No further citation should be necessary.


[ii] Promise me, son, not to do the things I've done
Walk away from trouble if you can
It won't mean you're weak if you turn the other cheek
I hope you're old enough to understand
Son, you don't have to fight to be a man

I promised you, Dad, not to do the things you've done
I walk away from trouble when I can
Now please don't think I'm weak, I didn't turn the other cheek
And Papa, I should hope you understand
Sometimes you gotta fight when you're a man


Everyone considered him the coward of the county”


Coward of the County … again by Kenny Rogers, released in 1979.  Read the full lyrics here:





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