In my youth every Saint Patty’s day the networks would show the movie The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.

It was about an American prize fighter seeking to retire to the land of his ancestors and leave his fighting background behind. In the process he meets and falls in love with a woman and they marry. The union is opposed by the woman’s brother, who happens to be the leading figure in town both in size and prosperity. The brother detests Wayne for taking away his sister/cook/housekeeper, and long story short, they end up fighting in a spectacular, Hollywood country fist fight over her dowery.

The movie does not reveal who won this fight, but it does depict them post-fight, arm in arm, staggering drunk together to Wayne’s cottage, now best buddies. As a kid this always confused me; weren't they worst enemies? Them bloodying each other up led them to like each other? How could this be?

On AOM, “iron sharpens iron” Brett says. I see guys go after each other, this time bloodlessly, with verbal punches. I’d like to know of the guys (and gals) who do a lot of debating here: have you grown to respect and actually like those who oppose you on a regular basis? And on a site where to “agree to disagree” is seen as a cop out, where does that leave you if your opponent does not back down? (actually any conflict experience you've had with another man would be helpful, not just on this site) Would you return to your home, drunk together, arm in arm, best buddies?

Or is that only in the movies?

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Refuses to give up.

No respect is earned quite like that earned by an honored adversary.  I respect a guy that can take the best I can give and remain standing on the ground he covered.  Unapologetically not-backing-down is almost a prerequisite, though.  Difficult to respect a guy that gives up too easily.


Actually, it happens in law practice more often than you'd think.



Over the years I have come to hold some men in high esteem because we fought even though I might have begrudged them the oxygen they were wasting before then.   Even the ones that I can't really call "friends" are very easy to be civil with. 

Back in my military days I was surprised how easily Soviets and their East Block allies were to get along with when we met even compared to some of out NATO allies.  Mutual respect is a good way to begin a friendship. 

As someone who has made a point of avoiding conflict to stay on good terms with others (often at a cost of self esteem and respect) your common sense answer is welcome. Thank you.

Defeat is quite different from capitulation.  In the example you gave, one man bloodied the nose of the other...he won.  But, then their conflict was ended.


And, by standing up for himself, even the loser behaved modern parlance, he earned cred'.


What's confusing about that?

If you watch the movie, no clear victor is depicted. They are shown as equally matched.

And to me, yes, confusing. And that's why I posted this; to get other men's input.

because you just don't feel like fighting right then.  The last you need to be careful with though, as it will likely be seen by your opponent as disrespect.

Change don't feel to don't want. I now know I've disrespected quite a few fellows in my past that way. Or even worse, come off as a spineless dork.

Yes, I have come to respect many of those with whom I regularly debate topics, despite their inability to recognized that I am right. ;)


It is perfectly reasonable to accept that someone who disagrees with you has good reasons for doing so. They are not necessarily wrong, and you are not necessarily wrong - there are many things in life that are not easily reduced to so simple a solution. Even if one of you is, there may be good reasons for them to not agree with you. That doesn't necessarily impact my opinion of them. 


Sometimes, agreeing to disagree is not a cop out, but a way to get on with being human, accept that not everything is going to go your way, and still have a beer with somebody without coming to blows. That's part of being in a society - managing the subtleties and contradictions in the world is what makes us human. 


I don't know if I'd wander home drunk, best buddies with all of them, but there are more than a few men here (with whom I respectfully disagree on a wide range of topics) that I happily consider friends. I would hope they feel the same about me.

To the degree that I have come to respect some here... it wasn't the debate that did it.  Debate, I think, is largely useless (though addictive).  "Iron sharpens iron" refers to friendship, not the Argument Clinic.  I came to respect them because of things they told me about themselves, or things I saw them doing or saying, that I thought admirable.  And that does keep happening.

I see, debate as a form of getting to know someone. It becomes another shared experience.

I’d like to know of the guys (and gals) who do a lot of debating here: have you grown to respect and actually like those who oppose you on a regular basis? And on a site where to “agree to disagree” is seen as a cop out, where does that leave you if your opponent does not back down?


I just realized that your question had a second half.  Sorry for not answering it earlier.


Yes, I most definitely have come to respect and even like the people with whom I frequently disagree.  Liam and Shieldes in particular, and even Scott H.  We don't often see eye to eye, but I really kinda' like those guys.


Liking someone, respecting someone, and agreeing with someone.  Those are three completely different things.


I tend to respect those people who stand up for what they believe...whether or not I agree with them.  And, I tend to like people who are willing to stand up to me.  Those people I call friends tend to challenge me on a regular basis, just as I challenge them.


I find it curious that you're asking these questions, Carl.  So let me turn it around.  How do *you* respond when someone "challenges" you?

Thought you would all know the answer by now...I'm a coward.
At work it's different; I get paid to come up with concepts I must defend, I have trained myself to do that. Everywhere else I shy away from it, though from this site's (and a therapist I paid for) guidance I have finally stood up to my mother and wife. Still have a long way to go.
Came under the delusion in my adolescence that if I agreed with everyone, avoided conflict at all cost, everyone would like me.
I know now that is wrong.


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