When out for a drink the other night, I ended up speaking with a man who I did not see eye to eye with. There is nothing wrong with this and I happen to enjoy interacting with people that have different beliefs from my own. I usually learn something and have an interesting time. This night however, something was off. In reviewing all of my work and writing for this website it became very clear to me what it was. I did not have a discussion with this man, I ended up in an argument and that argument made me very tired. I told him this and said that I had to go because he was wearing me out. He said, "I thought we were having a good conversation!" He seemed surprised that I was not enjoying it as much as he was. It made me reconsider motivation in conversation. He told me that he thought his beliefs were right and that everyone else's were wrong. Now usually I would take this statement as a warning sign that progress is not possible in a discussion with someone who doesn't want to see how another may have come to a different truth and that that truth might be just as legitimate as their own, but extenuating circumstances kept me talking. I was swept up in the moment and it took a lot out of me. I realized that my motivation is to attempt to reach a deeper understanding with whoever I have chosen to talk to. I want to be able to see where they come from and why, without judgment, but with the understanding that we will also look at the consequences of the decisions and whether inherently our decisions have caused us to use power over others. So what was his motivation? I can only imagine that it was to win, to prove his rightness and my wrongness and thus assure his power over me. That doesn't feel good. And it is why I cannot classify an argument as a dialogue or even conversation. Dialogue and conversation require listening. Arguments require that we do not listen so that we can continue to argue whatever our side is, with blind faith that it is right. And trying to reach a deeper understanding with someone that is arguing is tiring because one cannot get past the argument to see what that person is underneath.