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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, it's me again asking for more advice on interaction ^^'

Basically, I've noticed I find it extremely difficult to deal calmly and logically with a person when they are 'narrow-minded' - as in, someone who will listen to other people's point of view during an argument/discussion, but not even consider they could be wrong. They will conclude their own opinion as the only right one, no matter how much information you give them on the subject matter, even if they don't know much about it in the first place.
Incidentally, these people I have in mind are all INTJs (I promise it's just these, my mother and a good friend of mine are both INTJ and we get along great).
Most of them seem like good people even though they can be offensive morons. I want to be able to interact with them more calmly and not take everything they say so personally (often enough I can do this on a day to day basis, but these specific people drive me up the wall). Can anyone offer a solution as to what I can do to make this possible? I dislike being so sensitive, mostly because it just makes it harder to interact with people and I feel hurt so easily by things that would be considered ridiculous by anyone else.
So I guess my real questions are
1. How can I react to and interact calmly with people who believe they are right all the time about everything?
2. How can I become less sensitive or at least better able to deal with unpleasant people?
3. How can I take things less personally?

Thanks a lot for reading and any feedback :)
 

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This sounds like my INTJ. When we get into an argument, he'd inadvertently refuse to listen to what I have to say (or rather seem to refuse). However, there were several occasions when my logic "prevailed" and he would almost immediately admit to his faults.

I find that the times when he refused to listen was likely due to
1) he had considered what I was suggesting
2) it was irrelevant and did not affect the point he was driving across (yes, even if I offer new information)
3) we were on different planes altogether, and agreeing would require a compromise
4) I was being illogical

His opinions never swayed unless I could point out the logical fallacies, and if he fervently believed he was right it was unlikely that he would say otherwise to placate someone. His persistence can easily look like shutting alternative options out but he was never unreasonable.

I'm pretty sensitive myself, so it helped when I understood that we are both truly Venus and Mars. Logical inconsistency pushed his buttons whilst lack of tact pushed mine. It also helped to keep in mind that he wasn't emotionally invested in the argument (so there wasn't any reason for me to be either, though I still get riled up at times). Communication is key here.

If I found him abrasive, I would call him out and told him he had hurt my feelings and he would apologise. Sometimes he can be so unaware of how his words and tone of voice can affect someone, so I try to make him understand by applying the same scenario to himself (his ISFJ brother put a hole through his wall because of this). He is sensitive and would empathise this way. When I felt like he was actively dismissing my opinions, I'd mildly kick up a fuss (because pointing it out wasn't enough and soon after he'd interrupt me again).

This is about all I can think of now, might further add some points when they come to mind. Hope it helps!

EDIT: I've realised my post was catered specifically to addressing INTJs. I find that what you refer to as "narrow-mindedness" may not be narrow-mindedness per se but communication issues. Though if the interaction with whomever you've described extends out to someone being delusional to their own opinions then I'd agree that you shouldn't have to deal with their behaviour.
 
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ugh, i deal with an ESTJ at work like this and i still haven't figured it out yet, except to avoid them as much as possible. subscribing to this thread for some insight. my mom is an INTJ and can be like this too at times, though it's a bit subtler and less annoying.
 
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@Ocean Eyes

My personal opinion is to just nod & let narrow minded people think whatever they want. Its best to just ignore, they will come around eventually or get left in the dust. Its a waste of time & energy better spent doing something more worthy of one's attention. Why waste effort on getting angry & arguing with people when you could be doing something more interesting & enjoyable?

Life is short & full of crap, don't make is shorter & harder.
 

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I'm afraid I may be guilty of this. If it's INTJs in particular, I suspect the reason for our apparent "narrow-mindedness" is that we think we know something that others don't; or at least, others aren't considering with enough importance. It's basically that Ni latches on to some conclusion and uses Te to stick to it. To break that, you need to first consider what we're saying thoroughly. If the person keeps repeating themselves or is dwelling on something, try to stick to that point rather than deviating or bringing up other points. One at a time - hear them out, think it through and respond specifically to what they're saying. If they make a good point, acknowledge this. By all means tell them how much you agree and how right they are. If they're wrong, tell them why you think that - but don't deviate from their point. Don't bring unrelated things into the conversation. Stick very closely to one fine point. As an INTJ, I hate diversions. If I make a point and someone makes another point without acknowledging my point, I feel like I'm being ignored. So always "battle it out" one detail at a time. Once an agreement has been reached, THEN you can move on and say why that point that you just spent so long debating is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Hope this helps!
 

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Avoidance works unless you have to deal with them on the daily basis. You can still consider them as decent people deep down so no hard feelings. Accept them as they are; you cannot change them. You know your truth, that is important. When you trust your opinion than there is not about what they do, but how you are reacting to it. Still, since you already know how they are, and there is nothing that you do or say that will change their opinion, do not try to convince them or share anything with them. They would not care anyway. This is not specific to the type, I have encountered this from various types. I am learning to realize this. There is no point sharing with some people.
 

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Also, if you want to take things less personally, remember that often people have no intention of offending you. They're more interested in discussing at a higher level of abstraction. For example, if an INTJ makes a statement "I hate this" or "People that have this characteristic are stupid" or something like that, just remember that they're not trying to offend, but they have specific reasons which may not apply under all circumstances. Debates or discussions aren't personal in their nature, so no need to take anything personally. If you want to minimize your frustration with "narrow-minded" people, try to see things from their point of view. Try your best to agree with them, but then put their views in perspective. If you tried your best to reason with them and they won't listen, tell them that and then walk away. If they're unwilling to hear you out, they're not worth your time! :)
 

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I cringe in the company of people who are bossy, loud and selfish. I've patterned my life around being the opposites, so I am really repellent to those like this.

They deserve their say in the world, but for me, 20 seconds is enough. I'd rather devote the other 23 hours, 59 minutes and 40 seconds to those deserving of our time and kindness. Tuning them out is best, but it takes time.
 

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The question is are you as open to the idea that you are wrong? I find that most of the time people who complain a lot about how narrowminded people are, are in fact the narrowminded ones. As to not taking things as offensively, well keep this in mind the first to get offended are always the most closed minded. Now into sensitivity, and this could be seen as offensive. You need to loosen up and become more open minded yourself first once you do that you might start seeing other avenues to take in an arguement or discussion with someone instead of immidietely making it personal which sounds like what you are doing. The moment it gets personal for you thats the moment any in depth logical discussion ends. However in the case that everything I just said doesnt apply at all then you need to not bother and or figure out why that person is taking the stance that they are. If they are unable to change their mind that means its personal for them too so they wont budge as long as their personal feelings towards it are involved. Of course you can still have feelings towards something and admit to being wrong about it but its often very rare that this happens.
 

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Hi, it's me again asking for more advice on interaction ^^'

Basically, I've noticed I find it extremely difficult to deal calmly and logically with a person when they are 'narrow-minded' - as in, someone who will listen to other people's point of view during an argument/discussion, but not even consider they could be wrong. They will conclude their own opinion as the only right one, no matter how much information you give them on the subject matter, even if they don't know much about it in the first place.
Incidentally, these people I have in mind are all INTJs (I promise it's just these, my mother and a good friend of mine are both INTJ and we get along great).
Most of them seem like good people even though they can be offensive morons. I want to be able to interact with them more calmly and not take everything they say so personally (often enough I can do this on a day to day basis, but these specific people drive me up the wall). Can anyone offer a solution as to what I can do to make this possible? I dislike being so sensitive, mostly because it just makes it harder to interact with people and I feel hurt so easily by things that would be considered ridiculous by anyone else.
So I guess my real questions are
1. How can I react to and interact calmly with people who believe they are right all the time about everything?
2. How can I become less sensitive or at least better able to deal with unpleasant people?
3. How can I take things less personally?

Thanks a lot for reading and any feedback :)
Working on the same issues as you. Narrow-minded people drive me crazy.

Personally, I've had to realize that if you don't want to be affected by their behavior, the best thing to do is avoid situations that encourage it. It's a bit like dealing with Internet trolls-- if you continue to interact with them hoping things get better, you'll only end up exhausting your emotions and realizing too late that people don't change their behavior unless they have personal reason to.

Think about it this way: if these friends were to never change, would that be okay with you? Or is your continued relationship based in the hope that they will eventually "come around?"

To your second question, while I don't have a foolproof answer, I would recommend putting some distance between you and your emotions. When you're angry, tell yourself "I feel angry" rather than "I'm angry." Try to use language as a way to define yourself apart from your emotion. Then use that as a starting point to understand why you are angry, and if the source can be dealt with. People tend to get angry when they want to change something they have no control over.

To your third question...try to view the situations from a comedic standpoint. Try to look at the conversations as if it's something to laugh and joke about. People with egos tend to stop stroking them when they realize you're only going to find the funny side in what they've said.
 

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You'd be wasting your time. People who refuse to consider your point of view or your feelings are not worthy of your precious time and attention. You shouldn't have to put up with that subtle abuse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
First off, thanks for all your responses and advice, I will try and apply as much of it as I can :)
Also, these specific people I actually found over chat, it's an MBTI chat I joined a month or so ago and usually is a lot of fun - which is why I'd still like to keep joining in, but to do that I've got to get over myself haha ^^'

As for being narrow-minded myself, I hadn't considered it until you asked, but I suppose I could be. I admit I've grown up in a very sheltered household and still can be quite naive about some things. I'm currently trying to unlearn these views as they aren't good for anyone. I always considered myself open-minded, but like you said, no one thinks of themselves as close-minded. About loosening up, I'm guilty of taking myself too seriously at times. I used to be a lot worse, but yeah, personal growth never ends and I'm still working on it.

Considering opinions other than my own? All the time. Due to circumstances in how I've grown up, I rarely trust my own judgment. I almost always consider someone else's opinion more important than my own, thinking I'm usually in the wrong.

About taking things personally, again one of those things I did a lot more when I was younger, but nowadays it's usually when it's explicitly directed at me (Calling me stupid, arrogant, etc.). I kind of also noticed that I tend to get really emotionally invested when A.) it's an issue where the view brought up could hurt other people and B.) when the other party has a strong opinion about something I know more about (this is very rare, I learned to keep my mouth shut a lot of the time unless I'm asked to say something). I also tend to have strong opinions about something when I have a lot of knowledge about it or if I'm emotionally invested somehow (admittedly, it's harder to see other people's point of view then, but I still do. Sometimes I quickly dismiss it, other times I consider it a lot, it depends on how calm I am at that point in time).

In the case of B.), this is actually a discussion that happened recently: I came out to them as identifying as asexual (after having done A LOT of reading on the subject and other orientations, as well talking to people identifying as such, I do consider myself somewhat knowledgeable about this stuff) and was asked about what asexuality actually is. After a lengthy, hour long discussion of me explaining what it was, the INTJ who had asked me in the first place conluded with the same view he had before the whole thing had started, which is that asexuality doesn't exist and 'asexuals' are just people with low sex drive, even after I had told him the actual definition of it and what asexuality entails (I don't condemn anyone who doesn't consider it a legitimate sexuality, everyone is entitled to their opinion). I said nothing in response and just left it. This also happens with a lot of other topics I don't engage in. This is the INTJ who bugs me the most, because other than that, he is usually a decent person to talk to, being polite and all. The other two are rude and insensitive most of the time and I've mostly learned to tune them out; they don't consider anyone else's feelings, I won't get involved with arguing with them (ironically, one of these is the one who keeps bringing up new points and information, making everyone else confused and annoyed while the other only states his opinion repeatedly, but gives no reasons or 'evidence').
I've talked to a friend who suggested I learn to interact with them to learn to deal with them even if I don't like them. The one I described having the discussion with is the one I want to learn how to deal with better.
Also, I'm told I'm very introspective. I'm going to try and not do that so much anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First off, thanks for all your responses and advice, I will try and apply as much of it as I can :)
Also, these specific people I actually found over chat, it's an MBTI chat I joined a month or so ago and usually is a lot of fun - which is why I'd still like to keep joining in, but to do that I've got to get over myself haha ^^'

As for being narrow-minded myself, I hadn't considered it until you asked, but I suppose I could be. I admit I've grown up in a very sheltered household and still can be quite naive about some things. I'm currently trying to unlearn these views as they aren't good for anyone. About loosening up, I'm guilty of taking myself too seriously at times. I used to be a lot worse, but yeah, personal growth never ends and I'm still working on it.

Considering opinions other than my own? All the time. Due to circumstances in how I've grown up, I rarely trust my own judgment. I almost always consider someone else's opinion more important than my own, thinking I'm usually in the wrong.

About taking things personally, again one of those things I did a lot more when I was younger, but nowadays it's usually when it's explicitly directed at me (Calling me stupid, arrogant, etc.). I kind of also noticed that I tend to get really emotionally invested when A.) it's an issue where the view brought up could hurt other people and B.) when the other party has a strong opinion about something I know more about (this is very rare, I learned to keep my mouth shut a lot of the time unless I'm asked to say something). I also tend to have strong opinions about something when I have a lot of knowledge about it or if I'm emotionally invested somehow (admittedly, it's harder to see other people's point of view then, but I still do. Sometimes I quickly dismiss it, other times I consider it a lot, it depends on how calm I am at that point in time). In the case of B.), this is actually a discussion that happened recently: I came out to them as identifying as asexual (after having done A LOT of reading on the subject and other orientations, as well talking to people identifying as such, so I do consider myself somewhat knowledgeable about this stuff) and was asked about what asexuality actually is. After a lengthy, hour long discussion of me explaining what it was, the INTJ who had asked me in the first place conluded with the same view he had before the whole thing had started, which is that asexuality doesn't exist and 'asexuals' are just people with low sex drive, even after I had told him the actual definition of it and what asexuality entails (I don't condemn anyone who doesn't consider it a legitimate sexuality, everyone is entitled to their opinion). I said nothing in response and just left it. This also happens with a lot of other topics I don't engage in. This is the INTJ who bugs me the most, because other than that, he is usually a decent person to talk to, being polite and all. The other two are rude and insensitive most of the time and I've mostly learned to tune them out; they don't consider anyone else's feelings, I won't get involved with arguing with them (ironically, one of these is the one who keeps bringing up new points and information, making everyone else confused and annoyed while the other only states his opinion repeatedly, but gives no reasons or 'evidence').
I've talked to a friend who suggested I learn to interact with them to learn to deal with them even if I don't like them. The one I described having the discussion with is the one I want to learn how to deal with better.

Also, I'm told I'm very introspective. I'm going to try and not do that so much anymore.
 

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When it comes to arguments with INTJs, just accept that you can't win. You have to play our game to earn our respect. We want you to prove us wrong, and we'll happily change our point of view if we're presented with a more logical option.

The thing though is that we try to fit all new information we receive into our already existing concept of how things are, we trust our own judgment over anyone else's, even though we're very good at seeing other perspectives than our own, your opinion on something isn't worth anything to us if it doesn't make sense to us. Tell us what you think and why it makes sense, if this doesn't work it didn't make sense to us in one way or another.

This doesn't have to mean that it's illogical, it's just didn't match our current knowledge. If this is the case provide us with the source, and remember that we might need time to look over this new information on our own.

Try to not take things personally, any critisism is usually with the intent of improvement. We usually mean well with everything we say and aren't mean on purpose.

I know we INTJs have an aura of always being right to the point of being obnoxious sometimes, but I hope something I've said can be of help. :)
 

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As an INFJ, I seem able to sense if a person is stubborn in his/her opinions or POVs without really knowing them. I would tiptoe around conversation subjects to avoid confrontation. I dislike social discord therefore I would rather hold my tongue than to say my piece.

However, sometimes it's not possible. When stubborn ppl are SO/children, family members, or ppl you must work with/for, it can be tricky. How to be diplomatic to get your points crossed and not get upset that they would not hear you.
 
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1. How can I react to and interact calmly with people who believe they are right all the time about everything?
Site your sources, use logic and facts, and don't get angry or frustrated. The moment you show that you're angry and/or frustrated is the moment where your words become your 'opinion' rather than the 'facts'. You provide enough background and sources for the facts you're trying to prove, then they might go on the emotional defensive route (defending what they've said and getting a bit mean about it) and/or accept what you're putting down.


2. How can I become less sensitive or at least better able to deal with unpleasant people?
Take a deep breath, remember that they are human just as you are, exhale, give eye contact smile at them, go back to an emotionless state, and proceed to ignore most of the conversation you have with them. Only listen to the parts you find interesting, block out the rest. Remain calm, open, and emotionless for the duration you are around these individuals. The more you interact (ie yell, get angry, send evil glares), the more they will interact with you. If all else fails, avoidance is a good strategy.


3. How can I take things less personally?
In the case of INTJ's, from what I've gathered, they aren't the shining stars supporting political correctness. They seem to be the ones helping to light it on fire while the INTP's shove it off a cliff. In truth, if it really offends you, tell them that it does, and if they are your friends, then they'll understand. If they aren't your friends, then tell them to hit the road and don't hang out with them.

But if you really wish to learn the art of not giving a single f, then follow these suggestions:

1) If there's sarcasm, it's meant in jest. Don't stress over it.
2) Remember that each person has their own individual beliefs and ideals. If it's serious, they'll get in trouble in due time, but if it isn't, then accept their differences. No place to talk unless you also want to be challenged in the same regards as you are challenging them.
3) Look at all angles. See how the people who aren't offended by it can see that way. Look to how people get offended by what you like/do/think. Understanding where people come up with ideas help to understand their view. And that helps lessen the amount it offends.
4) Laugh a little. Brush it off. Don't sweat the small stuff. Worry about it when it's a big fish to fry.

And that is how you achieve the zen like state of not giving a hoot about people and society. It's mostly just the 4th suggestion. Life is short, why make it more painful and longer than it has to be?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
When it comes to arguments with INTJs, just accept that you can't win. You have to play our game to earn our respect. We want you to prove us wrong, and we'll happily change our point of view if we're presented with a more logical option.

The thing though is that we try to fit all new information we receive into our already existing concept of how things are, we trust our own judgment over anyone else's, even though we're very good at seeing other perspectives than our own, your opinion on something isn't worth anything to us if it doesn't make sense to us. Tell us what you think and why it makes sense, if this doesn't work it didn't make sense to us in one way or another.

This doesn't have to mean that it's illogical, it's just didn't match our current knowledge. If this is the case provide us with the source, and remember that we might need time to look over this new information on our own.

Try to not take things personally, any critisism is usually with the intent of improvement. We usually mean well with everything we say and aren't mean on purpose.

I know we INTJs have an aura of always being right to the point of being obnoxious sometimes, but I hope something I've said can be of help. :)
I had a whole response typed out earlier but my PC crashed - here goes attempt number 2.

You made me realise the possibility that you (INTJs in general) think your belief is fact while I think that what I believe is my opinion. I can believe that my opinion is the only true one, but I still accept others' opinion on it when it's different. The only time I believe what I know to be fact is when enough other people believe it to be and I've read/seen convincing evidence. I never assume anyone's opinion to be more than their view/opinion. Maybe this is a thing I also need to keep in mind. Please correct me if I'm wrong about what I've concluded.

And yes, I realised I can't win against you INTJs haha. It's why I try to keep out of their arguments as much as I can. I've also grown up with a parent who is very fond of criticism as a motivational tool. I didn't realise this when I was a child and hated it of course, but at least now I understand why he does it. Most of the time I can analyse it calmly and see if I can use to better myself or not. So I can usually tell quickly if the criticism offered is meant in that way or as insult. I don't really get either from these people anyway.

The thing is what I'm trying to figure out is how to properly get them to take in new information to broaden their knowledge when they made it clear they don't know a lot and explicitly asked (like in the above example). I admit it annoys me that they invalidate what I identify myself as but I'm starting to just let it go. It doesn't sound like they want an actual researched definition and so I feel it would just waste my time to try to further explain.

And yes, thank you, you did help in my understanding :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Site your sources, use logic and facts, and don't get angry or frustrated. The moment you show that you're angry and/or frustrated is the moment where your words become your 'opinion' rather than the 'facts'. You provide enough background and sources for the facts you're trying to prove, then they might go on the emotional defensive route (defending what they've said and getting a bit mean about it) and/or accept what you're putting down.




Take a deep breath, remember that they are human just as you are, exhale, give eye contact smile at them, go back to an emotionless state, and proceed to ignore most of the conversation you have with them. Only listen to the parts you find interesting, block out the rest. Remain calm, open, and emotionless for the duration you are around these individuals. The more you interact (ie yell, get angry, send evil glares), the more they will interact with you. If all else fails, avoidance is a good strategy.




In the case of INTJ's, from what I've gathered, they aren't the shining stars supporting political correctness. They seem to be the ones helping to light it on fire while the INTP's shove it off a cliff. In truth, if it really offends you, tell them that it does, and if they are your friends, then they'll understand. If they aren't your friends, then tell them to hit the road and don't hang out with them.

But if you really wish to learn the art of not giving a single f, then follow these suggestions:

1) If there's sarcasm, it's meant in jest. Don't stress over it.
2) Remember that each person has their own individual beliefs and ideals. If it's serious, they'll get in trouble in due time, but if it isn't, then accept their differences. No place to talk unless you also want to be challenged in the same regards as you are challenging them.
3) Look at all angles. See how the people who aren't offended by it can see that way. Look to how people get offended by what you like/do/think. Understanding where people come up with ideas help to understand their view. And that helps lessen the amount it offends.
4) Laugh a little. Brush it off. Don't sweat the small stuff. Worry about it when it's a big fish to fry.

And that is how you achieve the zen like state of not giving a hoot about people and society. It's mostly just the 4th suggestion. Life is short, why make it more painful and longer than it has to be?
thanks for all that advice! Very useful. I shall incorporate this into my conscious line of thinking until it becomes instinctive (when needed).
 

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Think about it this way: if these friends were to never change, would that be okay with you? Or is your continued relationship based in the hope that they will eventually "come around?"
I had to learn this one the hard way. I'm much happier now that I'm more selective about who I let come close to me.

Considering opinions other than my own? All the time. Due to circumstances in how I've grown up, I rarely trust my own judgment. I almost always consider someone else's opinion more important than my own, thinking I'm usually in the wrong.

... I also tend to have strong opinions about something when I have a lot of knowledge about it or if I'm emotionally invested somehow (admittedly, it's harder to see other people's point of view then, but I still do. Sometimes I quickly dismiss it, other times I consider it a lot, it depends on how calm I am at that point in time).
I can relate to having some very strong opinions. I actually find that even though I carefully consider multiple points of view (and therefore consider myself to be pretty open-minded), I do it all inside my head. So what ends up happening is that all that other people see is the conclusion I've come to, or me arguing against something I've decided is wrong, and they label me as stubborn (which is also true). Just another view to consider.

If people are genuinely incapable of being wrong, I either stop associating with them, or in the case of family I just try to let it slide. Easier said than done when they can't let it go, I know, but with some practice it's possible to care less.

If you think you can stand "learning how to deal with them", then go for it. Self-development is always good. :) I personally find it more harmful so I don't bother. Plenty of people out there who are more deserving of my time and energy.
 
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