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How to win arguments - Ed's journal
sobrique
sobrique
How to win arguments
A simple subject you might think. All I do, is insert the ultimate killer last word right?

Nope.

You see, there's a vast number of times that I see people get into an argument, and can't help but feel they've already lost. You see, the classic mistake when arguing it to make it a discussion about who's right and who's not. Either way, very rarely will either party admit defeat.

Human nature is just too stubborn.

The way in which you win an argument is to not start it. I'm not saying you should always back down, but just remember that when a discussion, turns into an argument you have already lost. Because despite the fact that you may 'win' (but you probably won't) you'll finish up being angry and frustrated.

When discussing or arguing, keep in mind your objective.
Usually, it's to change someone's mind about something. Not to be 'right' about the matter at hand.

Consider that getting angry, frustrated or cross just isn't going to work. It just leaves you angry, frustrated or cross. It's fine to be passionate or enthusiastic about the subject you're discussing. Because those are (IMHO) positive emotions, and remaining that way for an hour is only a good thing. Being angry or frustrated is very rarely going to get your point across. The best it's ever going to do is that the other person will stop arguing because they don't want to get angry and cross themselves. That's not really a win.

Also consider that typically someone you're arguing with is doing so because they have a different opinion. If it's something easily established, like the AC of a troll, or the times of things on at the cinema, then what are you arguing about? Isn't it simpler to say 'well, I think you're wrong, so let's check' rather than getting in to an 'is/isn't/is/isn't' row. After all, there's not a lot you can say to change their mind on the matter, other than going and looking it up.

If it's about something less absoluted - namely religion and politics, then there never is a 'right' or a 'wrong'. Everyone has their own beliefs. The trick for 'winning' such a discussion is not to give ground lightly. But be prepared to do so. Listen to what they have to say, and then put your point of view across.

You'll both come away having had a good discussion. Either party may or may not have changed their mind. What they will come away with is an understanding of your point of view.

And that's winning an argument.
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