Screw you! You Fu*k**g idiot.
With the destructive force of an enraged carnivorous animal that has tasted blood we use our tongues as uncontrollable weapons of mass destruction. Although the original intent is to passionately prove a point sometimes disagreements transform into a clash of raw emotion that is just as spontaneous as it is combustible. An argument is supposed to be a junction of ideas where different perspectives merge together cohesively to form a bond between two opposing viewpoints. Now they are an un-officiated cage match of mixed martial arts fighters inflicting demoralizing blow after blow in attempts to not only humiliate but also destroy anyone who dares to view things in a differently. Just because we have different points of view does not mean we are mortal enemies. When did communication become so brutal?
Well today my intention is to give you some non-violent and less explosive alternatives to getting your point across without permanently damaging a relationship. Here are some tips on how to win an argument.
1. The Truth Hurts-Base it on the Facts
The worst thing you can do during an argument is base your conversation on what you feel. Even though displaying emotion is important it is not the best used technique to win an argument. When a lawyer presents a case before a judge they want to have as much factual evidence as possible. This gives them the greatest odds of winning the trail. Would you trust a lawyer who doesn’t have any facts?
2. Name Your Source-Challenge Information
A gentleman, whom I will not name for fear of retaliation, had the nerve to tell me that Rodney Stucky was the best point guard in the NBA. He then went on and on about why he felt that way wasting all of my precious time. Obviously I didn’t agree. To save you some time here a tip. If the person you are communicating with seems to be stating a lot of their personal feelings ask them for facts, proof, or statistics.
The best way to do this and not make the situation more uncomfortable is to ask open ended questions like, Why do you feel….? After reviewing the important statistics we were quickly about to move on to something more important like lunch.
3. Control Your Boiling Point-Self Control
Maintaining your focus and self control will swing the odds in your favor when in a heated debate. Try not to lose your temper. The purpose of an argument is to prove a point with tact and finesse. If you lose control an argument can quickly transform into a deadly war of words that might become a physical altercation.
Have you ever seen two people who were really upset try to talk to one another? It is a waste of time. The people spend more time screaming over the other person while they are talking that no actual communication is happening.
4. How Old Are You?-Ignore Statements without Merit
In an argument people will get angry. They might even raise their voice. The thing I want you to consider is the reason why people yell in arguments. They want you to hear them. So do you best to give your undivided attention. Even then some people are just immature and will say things to intentionally get under your skin. You do not have to respond to everything another person says.
If they call you a raging idiot ignore them and terminate the conversation. Last time I checked name calling was done mostly by kids.
5. Paint a Picture-Use Vivid Examples
I believe the best way to prove your point peacefully is to use factual information that you can describe so vividly that the recipient can visualize it.
“Down by two with 10 seconds left on the clock, Dwayne Wade received the inbound pass at the top of the key after fighting through two defenders. He jabbed stepped to the left, did a two dribble drive, and jumped stopped outside of the three point line to take a shot. As the ball left his hands the entire crowd drew silent until.. That is why I think Dwayne Wade is one of the best player in the clutch.”
This statement is a lot more power than just saying that Wade is one of the best closers in the NBA.
Don’t get me wrong even when using these tips you will still lose some arguments but now you have some tools that will swing the odds in your favor.
Now it is your turn to share your tips with me. What would you do to win an argument?