Think twice, in the other way around.

There’s always two sides on one thing. It’s up to you to say anything you want to, but it also doesn’t hurt to think twice — not just repeating the same route, but in the other way around.

The two steps are what I do when I’d like to make a statement but found insufficient evidence to support:

1. Think reversely:

When you’d like to say “breakfast doesn’t do any good”, stop and think “what if we all stop eating breakfast? Does this make everything better?”

If your answer is “no”, “sometimes” or “well, it depends”, then your theory could be only partially viable. You still have every right to make the claim, but do remind others to take it with a pinch of salt, or just find a better time or audience to say it.

2. Put yourself in their shoes:

How would you counter “breakfast doesn’t do any good” if you pretend to be a cereal lover? How would you explain the health benefits of consuming a bagel at 7am?

You don’t have to switch sides by putting yourself in their shoes, but sometimes it pays to understand what others are really thinking. It makes your opinion more educated nevertheless.

If you still consider your story still stands upright in different shoes, be my guest to speak out loud. Although we might be still wrong or partially right, but we have done our part thinking and are talking responsibly.

I learned this from my high school debate team. We had to understand what our opponent think and even play the opposite role for practices. I still have my own view on most things, yet the practices not only helped us to win but also made us better, more considerate thinkers.

What if we talk without thinking twice in the other way around?

Originally posted on my English newsletter “Fire in the Foxhole”. You’re invited to subscribe!