Charlie Palmer – Stop arguing about pointless shite

CHARLIE PALMER is here with some vital advice that could just save all of your friendships from destruction and ruin.

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I started watching BBC One’s The Musketeers the other day. It’s world-beatingly terrible. It’s so poorly acted and written that even Peter Capaldi can’t salvage it.

“But what’s the most unrealistic part, Charlie?”, I hear you ask. Good question. It’s not the cheesily anachronistic politics. It isn’t even the sheer elevation of Constance’s boobs (I’m pretty sure you can’t habitually wear a corset that tight and still have a functioning pancreas). It’s how easily the musketeers conclude all their arguments.

Aramis: “I’m a soldier, not a vigilante!”

Aramis’ friend: “If you want justice, this is the only way!”

Aramis: “It’s not my way.”

Aramis’ friend: “You’re right. I’m sorry.”

So Aramis and Aramis’ friend conclude their conversation happily, swashbuckle around Paris for a bit and sort out all their problems before going to the tavern to find some fit wenches.

Best. Friends. Forever.

That doesn’t happen. A real life argument goes something like this: the two parties involved start off dogmatically spouting completely opposite points of view. They slowly realise that the other person’s point of view isn’t as moronic as it first seemed, only coming to an awkward compromise and agreeing to disagree once everyone involved has had a shit time or, failing that, carrying on arguing until the less stubborn person gives up.

Arguing with someone never confirms my original opinion; I always leave an argument a bit frustrated and slightly less convinced I’m in the right.

My solution to this is very simple: stop arguing about stuff. Next time you’re about to start an argument, just shut up. You’re not going to persuade them they’re wrong and you’re not going to feel better about yourself afterwards. Will you have made the world a worse place by not fighting your corner? Usually not, especially when you’re arguing about whose turn it is to take the recycling out, but you will have saved yourself a pointless shouting match and the obligatory sulk afterwards.

By all means debate politics or other things you really think are important, but that’s different. Don’t make it personal. If you can’t disagree with a mate about the NHS without falling out with them, you’re doing it wrong.

Stop being Walter, start being Smokey

I’ve never really understood the concept of ‘falling out’ with people. This isn’t because I’m a top guy and everyone loves me – it’s because I think the idea of holding a grudge is ridiculous. If you find yourself regularly falling out with people, it’s not because the world’s out to get you. It’s because you’re being a mug.

Very occasionally, someone will do something genuinely awful to you, like cheat on you or beat you up, but it’s pretty rare in our sheltered little world. Most fallings-out happen when you’ve had an argument about something really trivial and been too stubborn/awkward to stop being a twat and make up.

Are you really too angry to speak to your ex six months after she dumped you?

If you answered “yes” and she didn’t cheat on you/beat you up/steal all your things/put your cat in a bin, you’re probably being an idiot. She was nice enough for you to spend two years with her – that probably hasn’t changed. Give her a call and apologise for being such a stupid bastard.

The same goes for friends you’ve fallen out with. That one argument hasn’t made them a worse person than the one you liked before. Say you’re sorry and you want to be friends again. If they say no, at least you’re not the one being a tool.