Stefanie Edwards Marketing Coach

Do you have a need to defend your point of view?

defending your point of view with life coach Stefanie Edwards

I just rewatched a video I recorded for y’all on my YouTube channel. I lead the conversation with how I disagreed with a person’s point of view, how I heard her take on things but wanted to challenge that by bringing you a new way of looking at things. And then I lead with my evidence, which was a quote – hence someone else’s view on things. 

Do you see what I was doing here? I was validating my viewpoint, my ideas, by using someone who agreed with the way I thought. And then I allowed myself to further see this as evidence and continue to believe what I thought. 

That my friends, is risky business. Risky because we are using other people’s thoughts to support our own way of thinking rather than opening ourselves up to a new way, a new possibility. 

I think I’m usually pretty open to hearing people’s thoughts and allowing them to exist without casting judgment or having to take it as a personal assault of my own beliefs.  But in this example, looking back from a fresh perspective, I see how I was not willing to allow this but felt the need to defend my point. 

The truth is the topic I was even attempting to defend is something that is a personal perspective. You could search and explore in the world and find people to agree or disagree to my point because it is more a personal reflection on the topic that creates the reality, verses an absolute truth. The topic in question was the difference between prayer and meditation. I think there is a clear distinction. The person who’s  view I opposed, believes that they are essentially (her word) the same thing. 

So why am I bringing this up and discussing this with you today? Because I would like to challenge you to be reflective of the times when you feel the need to defend or protect your ideas. It is usually in those moments that we can learn more about ourselves. And here’s how. 

  1. It reveals what is important to us. 
    1. You don’t feel the need to defend something or offer a rebuttal on trivial things. They just don’t matter.  You shrug off the stupidity or ignorance of someone else over issues that don’t matter but when it is something that is important to you, you may feel the need to respond or defend your point of view.

      When you take something seriously, when it matters to you, and you feel the need to defend, explain, clarify your reasoning and viewpoint, there is usually resistance there to compromise on your beliefs. You are firm in your thought and you want the other person to conform their way of thinking to fit yours. This unwillingness is what can lead us into heated discussions and disagreements – especially if the other person feels the same way about their point of view.
  2. It can reveal our take on things 
    1. What background or worldview do you have that filters how you think?
  3. It reveals areas we are fearful of being wrong 
    1. This is one of the biggest roots for why we don’t like people to challenge what we believe. If we begin to shift in how we think, if we start to consider their way of thinking, this may lead us to having to admit that the way we had been thinking was wrong. And so often we don’t want to face a time when we were wrong in our thinking because it has the ability to scare us into second-guessing other areas. Wondering what else might have I been wrong about? And that’s a scary process a lot of us try to avoid. 
    2. Why does it matter to you that you are not wrong? Is this a topic that is open to discussion or not for you? Is this something that you must defend as truth in order for your life to make sense? 

All of these factors bring us back to some reflection questions for you to consider: 

What do you believe in, so firmly, that you would be unwilling to compromise?

Why are you willing to stand behind your claim? 

How do you feel obligated to defend your point of view? 

So in this topic, the root of the issue for me is I don’t like when people try to mix faith and spirituality. But the fact is,  these words for some people are interchangeable. For some, we define the words differently. And for others there is total confusion around these two main topics, that there is not a clear delivery on the sub-points underneath. Like mediation and prayer. 

I have a strong Christian, Biblical viewpoint on life. Faith and spirituality are two different things for me – especially when I consider how others identify with them. I know I am spiritual because of my faith, but I know others have no faith in GOD the way I do and label themselves as spiritual because for them, they don’t need a connection to GOD in order to feel spiritual. 

So keeping this in mind. I can clearly look now and see that trying to defend my viewpoint that mediation and prayer are different things, plain and simple, does no good unless the person who said it and I first come to an agreement on how we define those terms and make sure we are approaching it from the same context. If I’m a Biblical believer and she is not, I can tell you right away, we’re going to start disagreeing more and more really fast. 

I share this example because I see all the time on social media (the dumping ground for open expression of opinions) that people are disagreeing and trying to change people’s points of views without taking the time to:

1. Acknowledge what they believe and why it matters to them

2.  Explore why they think the way they do – what’s their worldview leading them to filter thoughts in this way 

3. Consider why it matters to them that they are not wrong. Thus, why they feel the need to make someone else see their point of view and hopefully accept it. 

I don’t engage much on social media because I see people escalating very quickly in their arguments. Speaking out openly on this platform without reserve or reflection. I’m not saying anyone is right or wrong. In fact there’s usually a little bit of validity I can see in different opinions, unless it really touches down on something that is at the root of my existence and core beliefs. Which in the example I shared, it came back to my Biblical beliefs in GOD. 

Now with some time to reflect and observe how I was being triggered and feeling the need to respond with a defense of my beliefs, I have decided not to post that video to the channel. It’s not helpful in the way I had been striving for. It’s fine if that is what I want to continue to believe, but I see no reason why I need to make a fuss over trying to clarify my opinion to others in regard to this point. I’m not saying this doesn’t matter. It does to me, but I’m just choosing not to have this conversation on my YouTube channel because it does not align with the intent that I created the channel for. The purpose of the channel is to offer daily video insights to help you explore your thoughts and learn how to be more in touch with your mind and how it impacts your life, while also helping you understand what life coaching is and how it can be of service to you. 

And I’m good with that. 

Are you good with where you stand and what you choose to believe and what you choose to defend that? 

I do share my faith in different ways on the Sunday edition of the YouTube channel. Because it matters to me and I believe that a portion of my audience resonates with that as well. I never want to hide and hold back about my faith. 

And in regards to what I believe about GOD and the truths I believe that come from the Bible,  those are foundations to the way I view life and those are areas I know I can be triggered on, and feel the need to defend. But I am also good at knowing there is a time and a place for those kinds of conversations, and I am not always called in each circumstance to be the defender. And that’s okay. 

Are you okay with just knowing what you know and not needing to defend your point of view each and every time? Why or why not? 

That’s an interesting question of reflection I’ll leave you with today. There are quite a few reflection questions throughout this conversation. I challenge you to take time and explore some answers around your thoughts. It could help you avoid a defensive situation in the future.  

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