Published with permission

By Bryan Hyde

Each of us faces times when we must honorably defend ourselves because we are being wrongfully accused or judged for factors that are outside our control.


It’s not a matter of winning arguments but rather an opportunity to establish boundaries that are important for our own psychological health as well as those around us. 

It’s also a chance to show, by example, the power of fairness, understanding and individuality rather than groupthink. 

In other words, pistols at dawn are off the table. 

When someone is applying nasty stereotypes to us, Paul Rosenberg offers a highly effective way that we might respond.

It starts with facing the truth squarely. This means acknowledging that there are ugly things which do not meet our principles. 

It also means acknowledging the scars and pain that others might bear. Behind that name-calling, there’s likely some legitimate pain.

Next, Rosenberg suggests we reject collective guilt. There’s a reason we have trials to establish someone’s guilt through evidence rather than accusations.

Each of us is only responsible for our own wrongs.

Finally, he suggests that plain old arguments aren’t worth our time. Instead, we need to put in the time and patience to make the conversation one worth having.

If things really start to get off into the weeds, we can always say, “This isn’t a conversation. It’s an argument and I don’t want to play,” and then walk away.

The goal here is to stand up for ourselves honorably without bringing more anger to the table.

* Hyde In Plain Sight is written by KDXU personality Bryan Hyde. Catch his daily HIPS vignette at 7:50-ish every weekday morning on KDXU and listen to The Bryan Hyde Show weekends at 7 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday nights.

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