|DEALING WITH IRRATIONAL CO-WORKERS|
Nothing can reduce your happiness faster than an argument with an irrational co-worker. You canít win irrational people over to your side by your superior reasoning abilities. And you canít talk them into getting inside abandoned refrigerators and closing the door to see if the light goes out. There simply arenít that many abandoned refrigerators. If you use the refrigerator in the break room, everyone will start whining about how thereís no room for yogurt. Until there are more refrigerators, or less yogurt, you will find yourself in frustrating discussions that can have no good endings.
Trying to win an argument with an irrational person is like trying to teach a cat to snorkel by providing written instructions. No matter how clear your instructions, it wonít work. Your best strategy is to reduce the time you spend in that sort of situation.
I have developed a solution to this problem. It is based on the fact that irrational people are easily persuaded by anything that has been published. It doesnít matter who published it, or what the context is, or how inaccurate it is. Once something is published, itís as persuasive as anything else thatís ever been published. So I figure that what you need is a publication that supports all of your arguments no matter what they are. This is that publication.
I have collected the most common arguments made by irrational people into a handy reference guide and titled it ďYou Are Wrong Because.Ē Circle the irrational arguments that apply to your situation and give a copy to the person who is bugging you. Look smug, as though this were conclusive evidence of your rightness. A rational person might point out that just because something is written down doesnít make it so. But since youíre not giving the list to anyone with that much insight, it doesnít really matter. What matters is that you will feel as though you brought closure to a potentially frustrating situation.
You Are Wrong Because:
For your convenience, I have circled the brain malfunction(s) that most closely resemble(s) the one(s) you recently made on the topic of (fill in topic):
Example: You can train a dog to fetch a stick. Therefore, you can train a potato to dance.
2. FAULTY CAUSE AND EFFECT
3. I AM THE WORLD
4. IGNORING EVERYTHING SCIENCE KNOWS ABOUT THE BRAIN
5. THE FEW ARE THE SAME AS THE WHOLE
6. GENERALIZING FROM SELF
7. ARGUMENT BY BIZARRE DEFINITION
8. TOTAL LOGICAL DISCONNECT
9. JUDGING THINGS WITHOUT COMPARISON TO ALTERNATIVES
10. ANYTHING YOU DONíT UNDERSTAND IS EASY TO DO
11. IGNORANCE OF STATISTICS
12. IGNORING THE DOWNSIDE RISK
13. SUBSTITUTING FAMOUS QUOTES FOR COMMON SENSE
14. IRRELEVANT COMPARISONS
15. CIRCULAR REASONING
16. INCOMPLETENESS AS PROOF OF DEFECT
17. IGNORING THE ADVICE OF EXPERTS WITHOUT A GOOD REASON
18. FOLLOWING THE ADVICE OF KNOWN IDIOTS
19. REACHING BIZARRE CONCLUSIONS WITHOUT ANY INFORMATION
20. FAULTY PATTERN RECOGNITION
21. FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE WHATíS IMPORTANT
22. UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT OF SUNK COSTS
23. OVERAPPLICATION OF OCCAMíS RAZOR (WHICH SAYS THE SIMPLEST EXPLANATION IS
24. IGNORING ALL ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE
25. INABILITY TO UNDERSTAND THAT SOME THINGS HAVE MULTIPLE CAUSES
26. JUDGING THE WHOLE BY ONE OF ITS CHARACTERISTICS
27. BLINDING FLASHES OF THE OBVIOUS
28. BLAMING THE TOOL
29. HALLUCINATIONS OF REALITY
30. TAKING THINGS TO THEIR ILLOGICAL CONCLUSION
31. FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND WHY RULES DONíT HAVE EXCEPTIONS
32. PROOF BY LACK OF EVIDENCE
|From: The Joy of Work: Dilbert's Guide to Finding Happiness at the Expense of Your Co-workers. By Scott Adams|
|Here is an interactive version that you're supposed to be able to send to someone|