I once thought that arguing was something people would do in high school or college. The real world, you know? That's when I realized how wrong I was. Arguments are the bane of every professional's existence because people will argue for the sake of arguing and never change their minds. Losing a debate can make any person feel like giving up on life, but thankfully there is hope for those who want to win arguments. These 10 15 rules will give you a fighting chance against your opponent, and make you considerably more successful in convincing them to see things your way.
1. You Have To Say Something
When you have nothing to say and are forced to just give in and concede defeat, your opponent will think you're weak. Don't be weak; don't let them see right through you. If you feel like arguing with them even if it's not worth it then at least go all out with this argument. After all, they might as well know that they may win this one but they wonâ€TMt win the war.
2. Admit Defeat At The Start
This is a dangerous one, because people can smell weakness. If you give in too early, they will just walk all over you and feel obliged to stop arguing when they've won. Be cruel to be kind: giving up early tells them that they won't win the argument, but it also tells them that it's not worth continuing if you don't care about what they're saying. A nice little warning shot: if you're going to argue with someone and think the argument isn't worth winning, then they probably aren't either. Don't take on more than you can handle.
3. Use Your Words Like A Sword
Don't let their words become a weapon. Refrain from responding to every single one of their points with just as many arguments yourself. Instead, try to change the topic or take the wind out of their sails in some other way. People who do this never back down, because they know that they can beat you at your own game even if you are trying to win by arguing with them and vice versa. Trying to win by arguing with someone is like playing tennis on a tennis court and chasing people around the court until they either quit or you finally manage to trap them. Never play tennis on a tennis court.
4. Don't Be The One To Agree To End The Debate
If someone is trying to win an argument against you, and you decide to agree with them, then there's a 95% chance that won't be the last time you see that person. On the other hand, if you concede defeat at some point during the debate, it puts them in a very strong position to make you feel guilty or agree to everything they say next. It's like giving up on yourself; then, when they come back for more after their victory, they have reason to believe that your ego is so fragile that it will shatter at their first words. Don't give in and don't let them think they have won.
5. Be The One To Stop Them
Sometimes, you'll have to be the one who stops talking. This is because your opponent will often go on and on and never back down until you're the one who is physically unable to speak anymore. Since that can only happen if you're doing all of the talking, it's a good idea to stop them from having too much say in the conversation by giving the floor over to them after they've had their fair time.
This doesn't mean that you're ceding victory the only person who really wins an argument is the person who was right in it. If you've managed to convince them that you're right and they're wrong, then winning the argument is pointless.
6. It's Not About Them
This is a tricky one, but it's important to keep in mind when trying to win arguments. Arguing with someone is not about being right; it's about being ruthless. Forcing someone to concede defeat is ultimately a selfish act because there won't be any real point in continuing the debate if they are just going to make concessions and agree with everything that you say anyways. Being selfish is often the only thing that will serve to get them to concede an argument in the first place.
7. Let Them Feel Bad About It
If you manage to convince them that they've lost, then it's best to leave them with a bad taste in their mouth. Even if you ultimately don't get your way and concede the argument, don't let them go off happily and feel like they won. Try to give them a taste of their own medicine forcing them to admit that they lost the argument when they may have been winning all along will almost always make whatever you're arguing about feel unfair.
8. Be Proactive
People who argue will make you feel bad about yourself. Don't let them: remember that they've been doing the exact thing that you want to do to them, and they're going to make you feel like a bully if you try to do the same thing in return. You've got to come at it from a different direction or else there won't be anything worth arguing about. You can either give in and jump into the fight, or you can throw down first and be the bully that they want to be. You can't win if you don't fight.
9. Listen, Not Talk
As long as you're up for the argument, people are going to talk. Don't try to talk them out of talking; it's not going to work and it will just make them talk more. Instead, listen to what they have to say and respond only when they're done speaking or stop them entirely with surprise. If you respond to everything that they say, then you'll come off as a pushover. If you only have something to say when they do first, then everyone will feel like the person who's winning the argument because they get all of the airtime.
10. Be Confident
Someone who is trying to win an argument against you is going to try and make you feel like less of a person. Don't let them. If you think that their arguments are invalid and their points are flimsy, then carry yourself with confidence especially when making your own points because it will make them look even more foolish for trying to argue with someone who's so confident. If you think that they're right and that they're smarter than you, then they'll just get more agitated as the argument goes on. Psyching out your opponent is a key part of winning an argument.
Most of the time, that's about all there is to it. Try to use your words like a sword and be the one who wins arguments. If you want to be more effective however, then use these words and tips with even more subtlety, and think ahead of your opponent's move on every instance. Be confident and be proactive but do so in a way that makes you seem smarter than they are, not less of a person.