There are two ways to win an argument.
- The first one is to persuade your opponent to your way of thinking. This is the unicorn of arguing...
- So it's best to aim for the second manner of winning: To look better than the other person.
Arguing can get get ugly (no, really —angry people look ugly) and dumb (no, really —angry people say and do ridiculous things). There are some obvious rules:
- If you're genuinely so heated and upset that spit is coming out of your mouth, walk away. Tell the other person you will be right back when you are no longer in danger of pulmonary embolism (I don't know what that is, but it sounds real bad).
- If someone needs to remove themselves from the argument, LET THEM. Allow them to walk away and gather their big-boy/girl thoughts. Take advantage of this time to gather yours.
With those in mind, here is how to
make the other person look like an @$$ be a class-act in an argument:
Do not overcompensate with strong language or raised volume.
- Loud volume and profanity indicate a weak, emotion-based argument.
- The calmer person is winning. Trust me.
- Do you really know where the other person is coming from? Do you really know what the disagreement is about? This is the only way to find out.
- The one listening more than speaking is winning.
- It sounds obvious, but this is difficult to pull off when you're upset.
- Words hold a lot of weight and can inflict a lot of damage.
- The one inflicting the least damage is winning.
- If you insult a person, you have just lost.
- They are never true.
- As soon as these have exited your mouth, you have lost your argument.
- Simply say, "I don't know what I think about that right this moment."
- If silence is your response, offer it with an explanation: "I'm sorry; I don't know what to say. I need to think."
- Especially at them or in their face.
- If you must use emphatic gestures, keep your palms facing yourself to avoid making the other person feel attacked.
- It's okay to say, "This is just how I feel."
Look for any common ground—every possible opportunity to say, "You're right; I agree."
- This will stupify them.
I hope these
manipulation classy tips help you the next time you are engaged in interpersonal discord.