How do you know if you are reasonable?
I'm arguing with my boss when she says something stupid. I know in my gut it's stupid. But I also know that my emotions are elevated and that she might be right--maybe what I think is stupid is really just evidence that I haven't grasped her perspective. So I try opening my ears to figure out what she meant. I figure out her perspective, and suddenly she seems to be making perfect sense, and everything I'd said before was stupid.
Fast forward an hour. The argument is over, and I'm trying to work on a project. But something is bugging me and I can't figure out what it is. Suddenly I realize I never made my argument clear to my boss. I adopted her perspective, figured out where she was coming from, and abandoned my perspective. But now I'm realizing that for one reason or another, I was right all along. Her perspective was more narrowly focused than mine. Mine was better the whole time. And dagnabbit, she walked away having won the argument despite it being stupid. But then for a moment I'm in her brain again, and it all makes sense again. I just needed to get back to her perspective.
At what point do we give up on this game? I just want to be a reasonable guy who sees things as broadly as possible. I want to avoid those "Oh god, I was wrong the whole time" moments that are so embarrassing. Can we approach something like a definitive perspective, or are our brains just too stupid for that? Is the ground that we cover in broadening our perspective going to be insignificant when compared to the amount of reality that we'll never be able to perceive? If the boss really is narrow-minded and full of transparent rationalizations, does that impact the responsibility of a reasonable person to see the argument through her eyes? Or does the reasonable person tune her out, accepting the loss of some truth that the stupid boss could offer from her narrow perspective? Does the reasonable person have less of an obligation to see things from other perspectives if it is clear that others aren't putting in the same effort?