Fighters and pugilists are different.
The fighter fights when she has to, when she’s cornered, when someone or something she truly believes in is threatened. It’s urgent and it’s personal.
The pugilist, on the other hand, skirmishes for fun. The pugilist has a hobby, and the hobby is being oppositional.
The pugilist can turn any statement, quote or event into an opportunity to have an urgent argument, one that pins you to the ground and makes you question just about anything.
Instead of playing chess, the pugilist is playing you.
Pugilists make great TV commentators. And they even seem like engaged participants in meetings, for a while. Over time, we realize that they are more interested in seeing what reactions they can get, rather than in actually making positive change happen.
A committed pugilist has a long list of clever ways to bait you into an argument. You’ll never win, of course, because the argument itself is what the pugilist seeks. Call it out, give it a name, share this post and then walk away. Back to work actually making things better.