Are you trying to win an argument? Guess what, you have just lost!
We all experienced a situation like this;
You find yourself in an argument with someone, and you know that they are wrong and that you are right. So you try to convince the other person that they are wrong and that you are right. You hope that they back off and just say, “Yeah, you know what, you are right”.
Now let me ask you; have you ever been in a situation where the other person said that you are right and meant it?
That rarely happens, and there is a good reason for it.
Let us delve deeper into what is going on, why you can never win an argument and how you can turn this situation and come out as a winner.
What is going on and why you can never win an argument
There are several things going on behind the scenes at this point.
First, you have two people who believe that they are right
You have two people that try to convince each other that the other person is wrong.
Nobody listens to what the other person says or feels.
Both parties are only thinking “me, me, me, me”
This is by all accounts a toxic situation, and it takes a real man, or woman to turn a situation like this into something positive.
Let us get more into the details of the above points;
Two people with ego’s that think they are right.
There is a simple fact in life: Everybody thinks that they are right and that they are good.
Al Capone thought himself as someone helping the community,
Let us take the evilest man that was alive in recent history: Hitler; Even Hitler thought that what he did was good, and that he helped the world.
Now we all know that those people were criminals at the best and that their ways are wrong at the core.
However, that is not the point. The point is that everyone believes that he or she is good and that he or she is right.
You and me, we are no different in that department.
Now why do I tell you this? By knowing what goes on behind the scenes we can use that to our advantage.
An argument forces someone into defensive
Another thing that an argument does is that it puts people on the defensive.
The only thing a person can think of is how to defend themselves and how to save face.
If they are only busy with defending themselves (By being defensive or by going on a full assault) they are not able to hear what you say.
Because of that, the simple fact is that whatever you say in an argument is like talking to a wall. Nobody will hear you except for you.
So save yourself some time and energy, and stop forcing someone to be on the defense.
Nobody will ever win an argument
What do you think that you gain when you win an argument?
Do you want to feel like the better person?
Is it by having the other person agree with your vision?
You know, there is only one possible result that you can get from an argument:
1) the person that wins feels victorious, but gains nothing and loses a person.
2) The person that loses resents the person that wins the argument and will avoid further contact.
That is it; you cannot get any other results from an argument.
Hoping for another result is just being silly and a sign that you live in a dream world.
A better way to handle an argument.
If you want to be a person of influence, you will not enter an argument and fight to win.
Instead, you will want to turn the situation around and make a friend.
Someone who will help you to reach your goals in life.
Remember the quote:
“It is lonely at the top” – well it is only lonely if you do it wrong. A real person at the top has brought many people with him.
So let us see what you can do to turn this situation around and come out as a real winner.
Agree with the other person.
The easiest way to disarm an argument is to agree with the other person.
This does not mean that you give in and lose face. It just means that you disarm the situation.
How do you think how someone that is ready to argue and to fight can respond if you just say, “Yes, you are right”?
That is right there the end of the argument.
They feel good about themselves and they will like you for giving them what they want: Recognition.
Refuse to argue
Another way to defuse the situation is to refuse to play their silly games or to argue.
“I am sorry but I will not argue with you, come and talk to me again when you are in a better mood/when you want to have a normal conversation.“
What this does is three things at once:
1) you set clear boundaries. This allows the other person to know exactly what you allow and what you do not allow. This actually makes them feel safer with you and can get closer to you.
2) You quit the argument before it even begins.
3) You show to be of higher value.
Allow the other person to save face
Another problem, especially if you are already in an argument is that both parties do not allow the other person to save face if they are losing.
Always give an “out” for the other person on a way that they do not lose their face.
This is first of all the “Gentlemen’s “way of doing things. It is also the way of any socially skilled person.
What to do if you are already stuck in an argument?
Now we cannot be on top of our game 100% of the time. after all, we are just humans.
So what do you do when you find yourself already in an argument?
The same as any skilled negotiator does.
Here are the steps that you will take; I will explain them in more detail in a future article;
- Actively listen
- Listen to the other person’s emotions, not only their actual words(This especially counts when dealing with women.)
- Find a common ground
- Decide an acceptable result for the both of you.
- Get the other person to want that result.
- Encourage them to act on what they want.
Summary and closing
Now you know that there can be no winners in an argument unless you stop playing the game and decide to make your own rules in a way that allows the other person to be himself or herself without forcing them into a defense.
Here are the short points:
- Nobody can win in an argument
- Everybody thinks that theyare right
- Agree with the other person or refuse to argue to come out on top
- If you are in an argument, apply the basic negotiation techniques.
Thank you for reading this article; Feel free to leave any comments, suggestions or other feedback below.
Bas van der Linden
CEO of Get Lean Strength
Bas actively trains and inspires people all over the world to create a better life for themselves through strengthening the Body, Mind and Spirit. He is also an entertainer at heart and travels the world to make people forget about their problems and share a few laughs.