Finding yourself at a loss for thoughts when arguing? Read this article for FOOLPROOF hacks you can use to help you win EVERY argument you will ever make!
It is a part of daily life, to argue and persuade others. Whether it be your parents to let you buy what you will, your wife to let you take the trip you desperately need to take, or your child to make them eat that damned broccoli- argument can go far beyond the courtroom and the collegiate essay.
However, just as common as arguments are, we often feel our words knotted, failing to give way through our tongues what our mind and heart wishes to say.
You know you are correct, but how can you prove it to your argumentator?
Before we come to why you never win that argument you so desperately make, let’s take a couple of steps back and discuss what argument is in the first place.
Argument- rhetoric in our more elevated sense of class- can be considered one of the most purposeful, decisive, and tactful use of language. In argument, we attempt to convince others of our point, we bring supports and claims with sufficient evidence to pull one person onto our side- and if not totally onto our side, to at least identify with what we say and why we say it- justifying any place of mind. Those with higher intellect choose to argue for the sake of discussion, if not truthfully to convince one to their own biases.
With argument having such a high place in daily life, we have lowered its standard to a negative thing- making every person always say to you, DO NOT ARGUE.
But- is arguing such a bad thing? Don’t we use argumentation and persuasion in every moment of life, even with ourselves when we barely find the courage (energy?) to wake up in the morning?
Perhaps, by changing the rhetoric or rhetoric, we can learn to argue for the right reasons and in all the right ways. By doing so, you can, in total truth, never lose a single argument in your entire life.
What’s more, we can then finally see argument and persuasion in the daily function that it has, without dooming it to the eternal infamy of negativity.
Get your child to do their homework, you say? Now that is an intriguing argument!
Here are a few foolproof hacks to incorporate to your every argument, no matter how large or small in the scale of deemed importance. With these tips under your belt, you will no doubt emerge a true winner at the end of every argument you come across!
Keep an OPEN MIND
Remember that the person you are arguing with is not without a mind, and they will have support for their claims as well. Even if you are not so readily willing to accept defeat and believe they are correct, remember to keep your mind open to the possibilities. It will most definitely not be the end of the world if they do end up right! If they say something in return and you open your mind to it, you are very, very likely to find another hook on which to respond back to
Make sure you have your argument set out before you, in your mind or on paper. If you know what you will say and how, and even to the extent of how to respond to a response you expect (for the more weightier arguments), you will always be prepared and have a plan of attack.
Do not DEFEND or ATTACK
Not to confuse the meaning of the last word in the previous section- plan of attack does not mean to literally attack. Nothing can set off your argumentator worse or discredit your every claim no matter how fruitful it seems if you defend yourself with total emotion, or attack with anger. Attempting to keep as much emotional charge out of an argument as possible is the best way to reach the climactic hill of success.
LISTEN and RESPECT
Going hand in hand with keeping an open mind, listening is always key. Show the other person that you are willing to respect what they have to say and are willing to listen, and they will in turn listen to and give equal respect to what you have to say. Even if they do not (which is often the case, unfortunately), you will at the very peace feel at peace in your heart for not having been the wrong in your morale and manner.
Watch your TONE
This is definitely a subsection of listening and respecting others. Make sure your tone is in place, and emotions are in check. Speak calmly- but not controllingly in an impatient way. Speak emotionally, but not in a defensive or offensively charged way. Speak persuasively, not too sweet or not too sour. Make it sound like conversation, like something that is being discussed rather than fought over (hint: it is NOT an attack, but a parley).
Have substantive CLAIMS
There is almost no use in making an argument if you have no case! Make sure you think through what you have to support your argument as thoroughly (with at least a general heading and mental direction) so that you can easily fall back onto your basis and know what you are saying, and why you know you are right! Besides, we are scientific beings, and at times, logic and reason need to bring to light what emotions sometimes cannot comprehend or accept.
Use the mind and the heart TOGETHER
Although I established before to not use the heart as much, it is critical to remember that the heart is a powerful being and that we as human beings can almost never override our emotions by our logical reasoning. Philosophers have been driven man at this, with their logic sickening their pathos. For this reason, use both the heart and mind hand in hand, NOT interchangeable at opposite ends of the spectrum. Charge your argument with passion, your substantial claims with reasons that empathize with the other individual. Intermix the both in the most practical way possible depending on your situation!
Argue to bring understanding, not to CONVINCE
Underlying all these themes is the negative connotations that come with the notion of an argument. Quite contrary to popular belief- as mentioned before- argument is a key function in our daily lives, critical to the smallest of measures to the largest of decisions. If we only change our attitude and composure during arguments- showing your opposer that you are in fact not opposers but mutuals discussing mutual things, there will be a more common understanding and empathy on both sides, and will allow free-flowing consideration between either side! Both sides will learn to consider each other, and speak in the most relaxed manner possible- getting rid of all negative stereotypes!
To think we can use these techniques with our children when they refuse to eat their veggies! Nevertheless, it is always critical to remember that ground rules of respect and understanding are always key to every relationship- and the relationship between the arguers are more nuanced that the attack of persuasion.
In other less-mangled words- if you stick to these rules of thumb, you will almost never emerge from an argument without success! Success of an argument is based not on fully and entirely convincing the other person’s weaknesses and defeating them, conquering them to your side. Rather, success in an argument is laying out your claims with reason enough that make them tangible and accessible to the person you are presenting them to!
Follow these simple rules, and you are sure to win any argument you come across, no matter how big or small!