If you asked me (not that you would) of my personal way to differentiate between a child and an adult it’s not going to refer to age or IQ but to emotional intelligence. Very early on I realised that the times when I find a grown-up acting childishly is because he/she is incapable of understanding or even listening to an opposing opinion during an argument or discussion of some sort. Meanwhile, I’ve seen children stubbornly backing Superman in a fight against Batman, but after engaging in argument and listening to opposing points, found themselves incapable of retort. That’s not only because they were beaten by argument but an existent humility fused with common sense gifted them with a realisation that it would be pointless to go on with their own reasoning (Yes, Superman would win).
Now, of course, we are all surrounded by people of the first kind; people who will prefer to shout you down and stop your rationale with volume as opposed to thought. It is those who claim to be preaching undeniable truth but avoid scenarios where they are questioned by any means necessary. Just turn on the TV and you’ll be able to see plenty, maybe a good portion of these people you actually follow on Instagram. Debates can be fun, but only if both parties are willing to give as much as they take and the one who is willing to take is usually the one leaving with more. Then there is a scenario when you enter a debate with the ‘yeller’ you’ll leave (speed-walking rather) with a hearing aid and having lost a precious amount of brain cells.
The only way someone can evolve is by listening. It is up to you to differentiate between constructive and simple criticism but usually, it’s easy to tell. The criticism you can throw off with ease, it comes from a place of ignorance and ego and probably has little to do with you or the topic you’re debating and more with Freud’s attachment theory. On the flip side, be careful not to label productive critique as hate; there is a thin line between being Ignorant person model 1 and intelligent person in model 2. Sometimes it takes time and retrospection to realise you prematurely labelled something as negative when it had rationale and use to it and that’s okay. As long as you get to a point where you can take things in, you will continue to progress whereas if you portray all of those emoji with the monkeys closing their three main senses; well, you lose out.
There are so many celebrities and politicians, even YouTubers who go on about ‘haters’ to the point it has lost all meaning. Haters equate to trolls online; their sole reason of their online existence being to stir up controversy and encourage public outrage. Too many of those who fall under the same category are perfectly well-adjusted human beings who find some of the content problematic for legitimate reasons. By generalising you are delegitimising critique which is one of the biggest foundations of education.
It is a true mark of an exceptional human being who thrives and encourages debate by inviting more people of the opposing view. The point is not to win the argument but to learn. You are a true winner even if you lost the verbal debate as long as you managed to learn something. The lesson is this; be open to new information.