We are wired biologically to attack and defend whenever we perceive threat. Therefore, it's easy ("natural") to fight about things; it's much harder to prove that you have no desire to attack - or defend forcefully. Often, perceived threats are not meant to be threats and only become such because of our reactions to them. In other words, we often start arguments when none need occur simply by defending what isn't being attacked. (and this occurs online much more often, because there is no way to see someone as they type and judge the intent of their words based on their body language - and because anonymity breeds aggression that often would not occur in person)
In situations where someone says something with which I disagree (even strongly, but not enough to feel I have to refute what they say), I usually just grin
broadly, let my eyes twinkle a bit and say, "I like you WAY too much to
fight about this" (sometimes with a hand on the other person's arm or
shoulder, depending on the person) - then turn and walk away or start
another, safer conversation.
It either calms the person down or makes him even madder - but, in a group setting where everyone hears what I
say, it's impossible for the other person to keep arguing without coming
across as a total jerk. I hope for the calming response, but if
the madder response is unavoidable, so be it. At least the argument
ends - or doesn't occur at all.
Here in my waiting place
1 hour ago