You're Not "Up" At Bat 24/7

The person who counters habitually are like baseball players who always put themselves in the batter's box. Any ball thrown at them they will hit. They consider it a victory when they get a hit. They might even be TRYING to hit the person who "threw" it, like that's part of the game. They will NOT put that bat down and pick up a glove, and CATCH the ball, unless it's the coach throwing it, or one of their "heroes". So, they NEVER EVER know what any of the balls actually LOOKS LIKE. They assume all the balls thrown at them are the same, and not worth looking at; they're just baseballs. The only ball they will CATCH, and therefore LOOK AT, are those thrown by anyone they consider "superior". Most of the other players get sick of their obsession with being in the batter's box and hitting any ball they throw. This person refuses to actually PLAY BASEBALL, they want to just do what THEY want to do.

They aren't playing  Baseball if they refuse to catch a ball unless the coach or one of their heroes throws it.

To get past this habit of countering, one must consciously learn to catch, and stop hitting and blocking. Actually listening when someone expresses their point of view is like catching the ball, and looking at it. Examine it, ask questions about it, don't just assume all is KNOWN about this baseball. LOOK AT IT. ASK ABOUT IT. TRY TO UNDERSTAND IT. What is it made of, where did it come from, why did the person choose this particular baseball? What does this brand use for stitching? For fill? What's that gouge from? What does the person who threw it know about this ball, what is their personal experience?

Obviously the ball represents the other person's point of view, observation, or expression. Hitting the ball when it is thrown represents arguing, countering, and opposing when the other person speaks or writes, or expresses something. Catching the ball represents taking the time and the small effort to actually hear what they are saying, read what they wrote, contemplate what they expressed, and not react to it with an automatic "counter attack". Then, after really comprehending what the person said, after really looking at and feeling the ball, it's thrown back to the person. The actual game of Baseball, and real communication, begins when the ball is tossed back, gracefully, so the other person can catch it. Throwing the ball back to the person represents respectful reciprocal communication, when the point of view or expression is reflected back to them, showing that the other consciously understands what they were saying. This is called "feedback", and respectful, courteous, drama free feedback is essential to any kind of relationship IF it's healthy. "Feedback" is not criticism, it's not countering, it's not opposition. It's hearing, seeing, trying to understand, and telling it back to the person. "I think what you are saying is such and such. I see what you mean. Am I correct in interpreting what you're saying? Can you explain more?"

When we play Ball, we play catch, it's how we learn to catch and throw. When we build friendships and partnerships, we play catch with our points of view, it's how we learn to communicate effectively, share ideas, help one another, and have a good time. If I am picking up a bat every time my friend picks up a ball, BECAUSE they pick up a ball, I am going to drive them nuts in a very small amount of time, and they're going to get sick of it pretty quickly. They aren't going to be impressed by my batting skills, they aren't going to think I'm tough or smart, they're just going to get bored and feel lonely because I'm refusing to be a good sport and actually play WITH them. I'm obviously only interested in hogging the batter's box, and playing AGAINST them. Boring, tedious, and frustrating; it shows I have little respect for them and no interest in real companionship.

We are just acting ignorant and arrogant when we always assume that the details we don't know are not worth finding out about. When we just debate everything another person says, and assume we already know what they're thinking, feeling, and doing, we insert drama where it doesn't need to be. Information and detail seeking, without emotional insertion and domination, is only for the strong and intelligent. The arrogant and weak can't do it.  (If you think you already know everything, you aren't going to try to find out more...) Those who don't have these issues make much better friends, and much better baseball players. It's pretty boring and aggravating to go to the field with someone who only wants to hit every ball you throw, and won't pick up a glove and play catch.