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How to Win an Argument - Dos, Don'ts and Sneaky Tactics

Arguments between two people

They are very different from a debate in front of an audience.

  • You are trying to win over the other person, so look for ways of building consensus and do not be belligerent in making your points.
  • In front of an audience, you can use all sorts of theatrical and rhetorical devices to bolster your case and belittle your adversary.

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How to Win an Argument - Dos, Don'ts and Sneaky Tactics

How to Win an Argument - Dos, Don'ts and Sneaky Tactics

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/how-to-win-arguments-dos-donts-and-sneaky-tactics.html

lifehack.org

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Key Ideas

Do

  1. Stay calm. If you lose your temper – you lose.
  2. Use facts as evidence for your position.
  3. Ask questions. 
  4. Use logic to undermine your opponent.
  5. Appeal to worthy motives that are hard to disagree with.
  6. Listen carefully.
  7. Be prepared to concede a good point. 
  8. Study your opponent. You can appeal to their higher values or exploit their weaknesses.
  9. Look for a win-win. Be open-minded to a compromise position.

Don’t

  1. Get personal. Attack the issue, not the person. 
  2. Get distracted by new and extraneous themes. 
  3. Water down your strong arguments with weak ones.

Sneaky Ways to Consider

  1. Use punchy one-liners, like: That begs the question. That is beside the point. You’re being defensive. Don’t compare apples and oranges.
  2. Ridicule and humiliate your opponent. This can be very effective in front of an audience.
  3. Deliberately provoke your adversary until they lose their temper and so the argument.
  4. Throw in diversions that deflect the other person from their main point.
  5. Exaggerate your opponent’s position and then show how ridiculous and unreasonable the exaggerated position is.
  6. Vigorously denounce each of your opponent’s arguments as fallacious but just select one or two that you can defeat to prove the point. Then assume that you have won.

Arguments between two people

They are very different from a debate in front of an audience.

  • You are trying to win over the other person, so look for ways of building consensus and do not be belligerent in making your points.
  • In front of an audience, you can use all sorts of theatrical and rhetorical devices to bolster your case and belittle your adversary.

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