Do not negate a frame, reframe it

In discussions you will see often the following communication misadventure: One person creates a nice frame and his opponent answer by negating it. At first glance this looks like a normal proceeding in discussions but it will have a big disadvantage for the one who does this mistake.

By negating a statement of your opponent, you will repeat his statement and you will step into his frame. Both things are counterproductive. If you repeat an opponent’s statement it gets strengthened for the audience. At the end of the discussion the audience remembers they have often heart the statement and they don’t remember that it was negated some times. And of course, if you negate and therefore repeat the statement or frame of an opponent, you have to step into his frame. So you go into foreign territory which is unfamiliar to you.

But what’s the alternative to a negation? Reframing! So don’t negate a frame, reframe it. Reframing means, you will tell another version of the same reality. You can either take a different look at the same topic and you can also reverse roles. For example change the villain and hero roles.

This advice applies not only for political discussions where you play the game of framing and reframing, it is also valid in all discussion which you encounter in everyday life. So, never ever negate a statement. Instead create an own statement which reflects your opinion.

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