It’s Not Enough to Be Right—You Also Have to Be Kind | Ryan Holiday

Great read on why being right is not enough to convince people to get on your side. You have to show kindness too. In this post, Ryan breaks down what makes online debates and discussions so toxic nowadays. And how we can hopefully fix it.

Link: It’s Not Enough to Be Right—You Also Have to Be Kind

As we’ve become more polarized and more algorithmically sorted, we care a lot less about the people who think differently than us and put little effort into persuading them. That’s because persuasion is no longer the goal—it’s signaling. And with signaling, it’s vehemence that matters, not quality. The constraints of social media also reduce the space for any nuance or qualification you might be inclined to offer; 140 characters or even 240 does not leave much room for humility or kindness. And the desire for viral sharing heightens the need for aggressive, simplistic arguments.

Another reason why you should share your thoughts on your blog, instead of on social media. Use social media to point to your blog, instead of making social media your blog.

When I look back at some of my own writing, I see versions of that same mistake Jeff Bezos made as a kid. I thought if I was just overwhelmingly right enough, people would listen. If I humiliated my opponent, they would have to admit I was right and they were wrong. I’ve even said in interviews that the goal of my first book was to rip back the curtain on how media really works so people could not turn away. But guess what? A lot of people still did. Of course they did. I was right, but I was also being an asshole.

Humiliating other people with facts, will not get them on your side. You'll just push them farther away.

Reason is easy. Being clever is easy. Humiliating someone in the wrong is easy too. But putting yourself in their shoes, kindly nudging them to where they need to be, understanding that they have emotional and irrational beliefs just like you have emotional and irrational beliefs—that’s all much harder. So is not writing off other people. So is spending time working on the plank in your own eye than the splinter in theirs. We know we wouldn’t respond to someone talking to us that way, but we seem to think it’s okay to do it to other people.

Spot on.

Anyway, I'll stop quoting here. It is a great read, so check it out when you have time.

This post is Day 15 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit to get more info, or to get involved.

Tags: #Bookmarks #SelfImprovement #RyanHoliday #100DaysToOffload

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