“An argument is a psychological battle that you can win easily if you make smart moves.” -Unknown
Keep this in mind when it comes to wondering how you can effectively win an argument.
I am sure you have been in a few arguments where you have yelled, screamed, bullied, and dominated your way into trying to either prove your point or simply win the entire argument.
I must ask you a few questions about the most recent argument you had where you either proved your point or won the entire argument:
- How did you prove your point and/or win the argument?
- How did it make you feel to prove your point and/or win the argument in the way that you did?
- How did you make the other person feel about losing their point and/or the argument?
I want you to just think about these questions because even though you may have won your point and/or the argument does not always mean that it is a win-win for everyone involved.
Today’s inspiration is about how you and everyone else you can win in an argument. We will take a look at the following:
- What is an argument?
- When does an argument go wrong?
- How can you have an argument with someone else and make it a win-win scenario?
Now that we have the questions, let’s find the answers!
What is an argument?
Merriam-Webster defines an argument as:
- A statement or series of statements for or against something.
A discussion in which people express different opinions about something.
An angry disagreement.
An argument can bring out what people think and feel about certain things which can bring them to a point of anger.
When does an argument go wrong?
An argument definitely has the potential to go wrong for not just yourself, but also for the person you are arguing with. Here are three ways that an argument can go wrong:
- When you and/or the other person are closed-minded.
- Arguments are destined for failure when you and/or the other person has their mind already made up before or during the argument.
- When you and/or the other person is closed-minded, nobody listens or understands what is going on.
- When you and/or the other person is an argumentative bully.
- If you and /or the other person is trying to dominate the argument through negative language, mind games, and gestures, you would have an arguing bully on our hands.
- When you and/or the other person is an argumentative bully, there will be plenty of cutting off each other and shouting going on.
- When you and/or the other person does not want the other side to win.
- You and/or the other person may see that only one person can win the point and/or argument, and it must be either you and/or them.
- When you and/or the other is focus on making the other side lose, everyone loses sight of finding solutions and peace due to spending more time on finding fault and issues with the other side.
How can you have an argument with someone else and make it an win-win scenario?
It is possible to find yourself and the other side winning the argument as long as you both are focused on the end goal of trying to find common ground and peace. WikiHow shares some effective ways on how to win an argument. It is broken down into three parts:
- Expressing Yourself Appropriately
- During the Argument
- Avoiding Logical Fallacies
The parts and steps here are for you and/or the other person to find a way to get to common ground, show respect, and find peace. If you can do any or all of the parts and steps here, you will be able to create a win-win scenario. I will talk about the parts that she have listed and give my insight on the steps included with each one.
Part 1: Expressing yourself appropriately.
How you and/or the other person chooses to express ideas and opinions will have a significant impact on how the argument may turn out. Here are four steps that you and the other side can use to appropriately express views and opinions:
- Remain calm.
- Remember to breathe, keep your body language open, and keep your voice leveled so that you do not provoke yourself and/or the other person into anger.
- Remaining calm will help you and the other side stay cool in the heat of the moment.
- Let go of the need to have the last word.
- Once the point is done on both sides, let go of the urge to try to outdo the other person with a pointless point.
- When you and the other side let go of the need to have the last word, you focus on the points versus trying to dominate the discussion.
- Take a time-out.
- When things start to get heated in an argument, just practice taking time-out from the moment by either asking for time or step out for a breather.
- Taking a time-out allows for both sides to cool down and sort through the emotions to find out what the real issues are.
- Be open to hearing the other person’s side.
- Just listen to the other side, avoid any knee-jerk reactions to the comments, and be open to understanding the other side’s view points.
- Being open to hear the other person’s side can create an opportunity to seeing multiple viewpoints and coming up with additional ways to deal with a certain issue.
Part 2: During the argument.
During the argument, it is important you and the other person learn how to keep focused on the end goal of finding a win-win scenario. Here are six steps that you and the other side can use to achieve that goal during the argument:
- Build positive intention.
- Build your mindset to focus on how you can both win and find common ground through positive self-programming and helping the other side to understand your positive intention without offending or coming off as condescending.
- Building positive intention allow for both sides to see how the argument can be of help to everyone involved.
- Be present to the moment.
- You and the other person must avoid all distractions (cell phones, computers, busy locations, etc.), and get to a point where you two can focus on discussing your thoughts and feelings about each other and the situation.
- Being present to the moment allows for both sides to focus on simply the argument without any outside interference.
- Lay out your points.
- Lay out the talking points through writing them down and/or being specific and factual about your points.
- When you and the other person lay out your points, it creates a greater chance of both sides understanding each other in an argument.
- Just sit back in a distraction free place, make eye contact, let them speak without interruption, and ask questions as needed.
- When you and the other person listen to each other, you will ensure that everything that needs to be said will be said.
- Manage your reactions.
- Do not be afraid to express feelings and emotions, but don’t do it in a way that will hurt or make the other side feel less of a person.
- When you and the other side can manage your reactions, you can focus on remaining calm and leveled throughout the argument.
- Avoid certain phrases.
- Avoid saying phrases that will provoke anger and derail progress during an argument (whatever, at the end of the day, playing devil’s advocate, etc.).
- Avoiding useless and meaningless phrases will keep the focus on making progress toward peace versus wasting time on points that will make both side angrier.
Part 3: Avoiding logical fallacies.
A deciding factor to the success of an argument is avoiding logic that has no purpose or is invalid. Here are seven steps that you and the other side can use to avoid using logical fallacies in an argument:
- Understand logical fallacies.
- Logical fallacies feed off of faulty reasoning, so you and the other person need to think and do research on what you want to say.
- If you and the other person can understand this about logical fallacies, it will help you avoid arguments that are useless and pointless.
- Avoid employing a straw man.
- Focus on dealing with point that you and/or the other person actually made versus the one that you and/or the person made up through oversimplifying the original point.
- By you and the other side avoiding the use of a straw man tactic, you save valuable time by focusing on the actual argument.
- Avoid moral equivalence.
- Avoid making logic that features comparing minor misdeeds with major atrocities (comparing your action of killing your drive to succeed with the actions of Dr. Jack Kevorkian who killed people through assisted suicide).
- Avoiding moral equivalence can keep both sides from getting involved in trying to compare two or more incompatible comparisons.
- Really avoid ad hominem attacks.
- Do not attack someone based on their looks, appearance, and character.
- Avoiding ad hominem attacks can save you and the other time from having to backtrack and apologize for saying things that will make the argument even more chaotic and crazy.
- Don’t fall into the ad populum fallacy.
- Avoid emotional positive and negative concepts, and just stick to the points in the argument.
- When both sides don’t fall into the ad populum fallacy, you will not worry about wasting time on something that will not ad to the argument in a positive way.
- Don’t use the slippery slope fallacy.
- Avoid arguing with the fallacy that if something does not happen, then a host of other things will either happen or not happen, which is can serve as the basis of fear mongering.
- Avoiding the slippery slope fallacy will keep you and the other side from facing scrutiny over your logical fallacy.
- Avoid the hasty generalization.
- Take the time to ask questions and get as much information necessary so that you nor the other person does not rush to conclusions based on very little, faulty, or biased information.
- Avoiding hasty generalization can allow for you and the other side to have a facts-based argument that can lead to results.
I encourage you to take time to look back on the last argument you had. Think about the actions you took and the results that came from it. You will find that arguments can really bring out negative qualities in all of us that are undesirable when you are not careful. It is important that when you are arguing with someone, you want to have a positive environment, points laid out, and all sides and views presented. When you do this, you create an opportunity where an argument can lead to answers and solutions, which results in a win-win scenario when everyone is involved. Let’s remember that an argument can result in a win for everyone when we all come together with the mindset to find peace, common ground, and unity on a given topic.
I have a few questions that I would love for you to give some thought. Feel free to comment and answer below.
- What was the last serious argument that you had?
- How did you choose to deal with that argument?
- What were the results of your argument through your actions?
- If you could, would you have gone back and done things differently in your argument to get a different result?
- What would you recommend to someone who is dealing with trying to form a win-win scenario in their own argument?
You answers and comments and help yourself or someone else understand this important question…
- How can you have an argument with someone else and make it an win-win scenario?
-Michael J. Fite