Change What Winning Means to You - Deepstash

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The Definitive Guide to Winning an Argument

Change What Winning Means to You

Winning can mean: 

  • resolving the conflict peacefully
  • getting them to admit they’re wrong about one thing and not the whole topic
  • intentionally giving in because you care about them.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Ask for their point of view

To gain trust and build rapport, you need to hear out what the other person thinks without interrupting or disagreeing.

Try asking open-ended questions, like: "Why do you think that?"

Mirror your opponent

If you mimic your opponent (in a subtle way), they are more likely to believe you.

For example, if they are sitting cross-legged, wait a few seconds and cross your legs too. And make sure that what you are doing is not too obvious.

Make direct eye contact

...while you listen. This makes the speaker's arguments less persuasive, which makes your opinion look strong.

Fix the speaker in your sight as soon as they start speaking.

Basic structure of an argument from incredulity

Premise 1: I can’t explain or imagine how proposition X can be true.

Premise 2: if a certain proposition is true, then I must be able to explain or imagine how that can be.

Conclusions: proposition X is false.

It’s ok to be incredulous

... and to bring this up as part of an argument. The issue with doing so occurs when this incredulity isn’t justified or supported by concrete information, and when this lack of belief is used in order to assume that a preferred personal explanation must be the right one, despite the lack of proof.

At the same time, it’s also important to remember that it’s possible that the person using the argument from incredulity is right, despite the fact that their reasoning is flawed.

Counter the argument from incredulity
  1. Explain why this sort of reasoning is fallacious: namely the fact that your opponent’s inability to explain a certain phenomenon or to understand a certain theory, does not invalidate current explanations for it.
  2. Shift the burden of proof back to your opponent: ask them to support their initial assertion, and explain why they are incredulous, and why they think that this validates their position.
  3. If possible, you should show that there is scientific evidence that can be used in order to explain the phenomenon that’s being discussed. 
Validate Their Feelings

Saying things like 'I understand why you'd feel that way...' or 'Anyone would feel like that in the same situation' validates the other person's emotions and completely disarms them.

Look At It As A Conversation

Go back to the concept of talking with someone rather than talking to someone.

It can help keep the other person cool, which pretty much always means you've won the argument.

Make It All About Them
We naturally approach the world from our own points of view,

The key to successful persuasion is to show how and why something matters in relation to that person's life and experience.