Win Debates Without Being Unfriendly

Normally, any debate has the potential to turn into an ugly match, due to the fact that both the sides are trying to win. The problem is that one person will win the debate, and two people are trying for the coveted title of ‘winner’.

The trick is to change the premise that one plays on, forgetting that you have to win, but focussing on a different goal, rather than the sole aim of proving that the other person is wrong and you are right.

Laila M. (@lailaim23) - Profile Photo

@lailaim23

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Communication

Logic is not the best strategy for winning a debate. Any logic has plenty of counter logic waiting to pounce on it.

A simple NO can wash over:

  1. Any overwhelming facts and proof explaining why one is right.
  2. Any valid counterpoints to the other person’s arguments.

We falsely assume that our explanation is bulletproof, and forget that the other person has a choice to not agree with us. We could say the sun exists, and the earth is round, but the other person can simply say ‘No’.

Instead of trying to persuade someone that they are wrong, try to create a different premise. You can debate to learn something, or to see the other person’s viewpoint, understanding why they disagree. You can also politely put on the table what you think about the topic, not waiting for them to change their mind.

The fun part is when you are not trying to win an argument, you usually do.

Certain topics are bound to start heated debates. It is usually the case with politics and religion.

Empathy and a general politeness even if the other person is saying something absurd and obviously wrong (The Earth is flat and dare you say otherwise) represent the way to go.

  1. Agree with them: Find the common point where you can agree with the other person.
  2. Help them with their argument: They will be surprised if they see you taking their side and proving yourself wrong. This is a disarming tactic that shows you are not dogmatic and are not trying to win at any cost.
  3. Accept that your point of view isn’t perfect: We all are biased towards our own point of view is the right one and think that we are not biased about it, which by itself is a blindspot.

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