The best way to win a battle is not to fight at all.
This may seem so impractical. So defeatist. Yet, it is the most peaceful and, at the same time, most combative of all battle strategies. Many a time, people will scheme and check-mate you with their moves. In business, in relationships, in society and in politics. Life too will appear to be conspiring against you. In these times, you will want to rush to defend your position, clear your name and reclaim your credibility. You have been brought up to believe that you must employ the truth and take a stand on issues you believe in. So, you feel your choice of defending yourself and fighting your detractors is justified. Theoretically, yes. But in reality, just consider the amount of energy you will lose fighting those who use deception, guile and lack scruples. This doesn’t mean you should not make your point at all. Make it surely. Just don’t fight.
There’s so much value in defending yourself intelligently than aggressively. The problem with aggression, while it does get your adrenalin pumping, is that there’s too much negativity that it throws up: How dare he? Let me teach her a lesson. I will vanquish him. And so on. In a real, disputed situation, all this bravado is unnecessary. What is the issue? What is the other party saying? What are you saying? What is the way forward for both parties? In the end, it all boils down to these four points. Anything else, even an extra word, is a waste of time, effort and energy for all concerned.
Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese military general, in The Art of War, writes, “For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” While borrowing from his philosophy I will suggest that you don’t treat your detractor as an enemy. He or she is just an unevolved soul who is causing you pain, injury, anguish, only because he or she is suffering from much greater pain within. If it is just an insult, you can forgive and move on. But if it is something that is challenging you at your very core, that has trampled upon your self-esteem and that which questions your value systems, then, by all means, take a stand. Let that stand be grounded in a peaceful and principled rejoinder. And not be a loud, ugly statement or show of strength and fury! It is so elementary if you consider it. When you are at peace, you can think with greater clarity. And to win a battle, any battle, in Life, with Life, you don’t need much ammunition, as much as you need good quality thought and peace!