The Art of Distraction: Why We Argue About the Trivial


In the heart of every disagreement lies the temptation to argue. From the mundane to the trivial, our minds find comfort in engaging in debates that ultimately hold no real consequence. Whether it’s the way the toilet paper is hung or the logo of a brand, these arguments serve as a welcomed escape from the weightier issues that surround us. It’s easier to get lost in these insignificant discussions rather than facing the difficult work of addressing the things that truly matter. While it may seem harmless, this penchant for distraction can hinder progress and prevent us from tackling the challenges that require our attention. So, why do we, as humans, persistently argue about the trivial?

The Appeal of the Insignificant

When faced with existential concerns and the pressing nature of the world’s problems, it’s only natural for our minds to seek solace in the trivial. Arguing about the way the toilet paper is hung or the logo of a brand offers a sense of control over a world that often feels chaotic and unpredictable. It allows us to exert power over something, even if it is of no real importance. In a society that values individuality, asserting our opinion on the trivial enables us to shape a small part of our environment, providing a temporary respite from the larger issues we face.

The Confirmation Bias

Human beings are prone to seeking validation for their beliefs and opinions. Engaging in arguments about insignificant matters allows individuals to surround themselves with like-minded individuals who will affirm their perspectives. This reinforcement can be addictive, feeding into our confirmation bias and providing a false sense of security. By focusing on trivial disagreements, we create an echo chamber where our own ideas are constantly echoed back to us, further solidifying our beliefs and shielding us from the challenge of engaging in productive dialogue about matters that truly require our attention.

Distraction as Avoidance

Avoidance is a natural response to discomfort. By engaging in arguments over the trivial, we are actively avoiding the more challenging and complex problems that exist in our lives. It is far easier to debate the best way to load the trunk of a car than to confront personal insecurities, relationship issues, or global crises. These trivial arguments provide a convenient shield, allowing us to escape the discomfort and vulnerability that come with addressing the things that truly matter. However, this avoidance is not a sustainable solution and ultimately hinders personal growth and societal progress.

Escaping Responsibility

Arguing about the inconsequential offers a tempting escape from the responsibility we have to address societal and global challenges. By engaging in trivial debates, we can convince ourselves that we are actively contributing to meaningful discussions, while in reality, we are avoiding the difficult work of effecting real change. This illusion of contribution can be comforting but ultimately leaves us unfulfilled and perpetuates the status quo. By focusing on the trivial, we relinquish our power to create positive change, allowing the important issues to remain unaddressed.

Breaking the Cycle

Recognizing the appeal and consequences of arguing about the trivial is the first step towards breaking the cycle. It’s essential to redirect our energy and attention towards the issues that genuinely matter and where we can make a difference. This requires us to challenge our own beliefs, engage in critical thinking, and seek out meaningful conversations. By confronting the discomfort and vulnerability associated with important matters, we can initiate productive dialogue and take concrete actions that lead to positive change.

Shifting the Focus

To prioritize the things that matter, we must shift our focus away from the trivial. This involves consciously redirecting our time and energy towards activities and conversations that contribute to personal growth, relationships, and societal progress. Instead of spending hours arguing about insignificant matters, we can invest that time in educating ourselves about pressing global issues, volunteering for causes we care about, or actively engaging in thoughtful discussions that challenge our perspectives. By shifting our focus, we take ownership of our impact on the world and contribute to meaningful change.


It’s easy, and perhaps even enjoyable, to argue about the trivial. From the way we hang the toilet paper to the logo of a brand, these arguments provide a temporary sense of control and affirmation. However, this distraction ultimately prevents us from addressing the challenges that genuinely matter. By recognizing the allure and consequences of these trivial debates, and by actively redirecting our attention and energy towards the things that truly require our focus, we can break the cycle and contribute to personal growth and societal progress. So let us take a step back from the unimportant and embrace the difficult work of addressing the issues that shape our lives and the world we live in.