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Personal attacks November 3, 2010

Posted by daniel ayad in Behaviour.

A personal attack is quite a serious issue. Impersonal attacks seem to cause enough damage, let alone personal attacks. I think the issue is ultimately concerning and dangerous if somebody chooses to personally attack a person. Why would someone attack personally? Is this an effective method of problem resolution?

Some people resort to personal attacks when communicating with one another. During a conversation, a meeting, or even indirectly a person may personally attack one another. I think this is quite a common occurrence in everyday situations, with some attacks being cynical while others being deadly.

I’m sure many of you have experienced personal attacks, and have probably returned your fair share. It is generally quite an unpleasant feeling receiving personal attacks, especially to the not so strong in faith. Most people don’t enjoy getting screamed at, sworn at, name called and so on. However to the really true believer, personal attacks are welcomed with joy.

Delivering personal attacks doesn’t seem to solve anything, and really worsens the situation. Personal attacks have moved from the issue at hand, and therefore the original issue becomes very difficult to solve. Personally attacking somebody does not put a man’s mind at ease, it only increases his uneasiness. He begins to lose the love for the person and starts to despise the person. He no longer judges the act, but judges the person. The meekness and humility will only decrease when a person chooses to personally attack.

So why would someone personally attack? The most immediate answer that I can propose is pride. This person thinks that he is better than this person, thus he can personally attack. He can say a bad thing about somebody because he thinks that he does not fall into this category. I have the right to criticise you personally because you do this and I do not do this. This person magnifies the weaknesses of another while ignoring his own faults.

Some people try hard to gain satisfaction at the expense of others. They enjoy teasing a person because they believe it gives them a feeling of superiority. However this person quickly realises that satisfaction comes within, and may personally attack more frequently in attempt to achieve satisfaction.

How about those debates were instead of debating the issue at hand, the debaters start to focus their attack on the person.  

I would like to share with you a personal story on this subject. Once I was giving a talk on a particular topic and I was defending my position on a specific point which most people disagreed upon. Shortly thereafter a person decided to research this specific point and found that my original point was correct. This person finding out that I was correct was unexpectedly disappointed. I maintained that this point could be worked out with some logical thinking; however this issue was met with personal attacks. “You think you know everything”, “Does God speak to you in visions to tell you everything?” These were quite absurd allegations to a simple point of discussion. What is the connection between being correct on a single point and knowing everything in the world? I just wanted to express my belief based on the evidence that I had come to learn for the students to benefit, not to glorify myself. Some people though don’t see it this way and would rather attack the person instead.

We are not here to judge, most definitely not. All we are saying is that personally attacking a person solves nothing and hinders relationships.

Speak about the issue at hand, maintain impersonal attacks, and be gentle, humble and loving at all times to the other party.

Easier said than done…



1. Michael - November 3, 2010

I would like to disclose a certain idea, which is – in no way – personally attacking your point. The manner in which one presents their ideas has a major influence on its acceptance by the audience. A pompous attitude would considerably affect the impact of what you say, regardless of the content of what you say. To point this out from the Bible: “Do not argue with the loud of mouth, and do not heap wood on their fire.” (Sirach 8: 3) You may be right in your argument, but your condescending attitude and tone could influence the acceptance of your CORRECT argument. Therefore, personal attacks could be the fault of the person being attacked, rather than the attacker alone!

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