"You don’t want to persuade people to do things that are not in their best interest. And it might feel creepy and manipulative if you find yourself too skilled at persuasion. I’ve learned so much on the topic of persuasion that I intentionally dial it back when I feel like I’m in a stick fight with someone who has no stick. I’m sometimes happier not getting my way than I would be if I felt manipulative. It’s a powerful skill that should be used judiciously."
From Scott Adams, "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life" (p. 134).
That resonated with me. Not because I think I'm that highly skilled at persuasion (though I have had some unsettling experiences of convincing people of things when I didn't even mean to). But because I choose not to persuade. It's not something I like to do to people and it's not how I want to use my verbal skills, whatever they are. You might say: But, Althouse, you are a lawyer. I was a lawyer for about 18 months more than 30 years ago. I'm not interested. My idea of being a law professor doesn't involve convincing anyone of anything, and the same goes for blogging. I'm not even trying to stop men from wearing shorts.