Having an argument with someone can be both time-consuming and stressful. Being focused on putting out your point and trying to win will only stop you from listening to the other person talking.
Of course, there’s no point in arguing if you can’t persuade the other person of their values.
To win an argument, you need to stay calm, use logic, ask the right questions, study your opponent, and more. Although, you have to avoid getting personal with your attacks, getting distracted with your opponent, and giving out weaker arguments.
In this article, you will learn everything that you should do and don’t do to win an argument. We will also give you some tips on how to have a productive argument that you can consider doing in order to win faster. Read on to learn more.
Do’s When Arguing with Someone
Here are the things that you should do when you’re arguing with someone and would like to put your point forward.
1. Use factual evidence to defend your position.
Instead of saying opinionated statements, it’s best to use facts that are gathered from reliable statistics, results, surveys, and relevant people. Support your case with the information that you’ve gathered before starting the argument.
2. Stay calm throughout the argument.
Even if you’re passionate about the subject and your point, it’s important for you to stay calm while arguing to ensure that you can think straight. Don’t lose your temper and learn to control your emotions while you’re talking to the other party.
3. Let go of the need to say the last word.
Many people do not resolve the argument that they are in because both sides are eager to say the last word. Remember that you don’t have to be the person who always says the last word.
Try to be content with points that you have raised even if you were unable to change the mind of the other person.
When everything has been said and done, let the argument go. Sometimes, the last words that we say can deal the greatest damage of all.
4. Use logic when arguing.
Using logic, build your case into a strong one and keep the ideas flowing one into another.
5. Take time out.
When the argument is getting too heated for both of you to handle, it’s best to take a time out. Getting a breather will help you analyze your thoughts, collect all the information that you have, and help things get sorted out.
Never continue the argument when everybody is at the height of their emotions because it can deal damage to both of you.
6. Ask the right questions.
Asking questions is one of the best ways to control the discussion. By continuously asking questions, you can make the other person scramble to find the answer to your questions.
Not only that, but you can also challenge their point by asking for evidence and asking hypothetical questions. Asking questions can also provoke the other person to lose control over his emotions.
7. Listen carefully.
Many people ignore what their opponents say and focus on their own points, but that’s the wrong thing to do. Make sure to listen carefully to what the other person is saying so that you can counter them with your factual evidence and statement.
You can listen for any flaws and weaknesses from his argument. You may even hear new information that you can use against your argument.
8. Study your opponent.
One of the most important things, when you’re arguing with someone, is that you study your opponent. Learn all their weaknesses, strengths, values, and beliefs. Try to exploit their weakness and use it to your advantage.
9. Look for a win-win situation.
You can’t win all arguments, but you can draw it to a tie. Be open-minded and consider compromising your position to accommodate the other points of your opponent.
By doing so, you can also provide points to the other person where they can agree upon. Remember that you can’t both win in a sport, but you can both agree with a negotiation.
10. Be prepared to concede if they provide a good point.
One should learn when to give up, especially if the point of the other person you’re arguing with isn’t that you can fight anymore. Learn to agree if they provided a valid point, but make sure to outweigh all your options and arguments.
Don’ts When Arguing With Someone
Now that you know the things to do to win an argument with someone, it’s time to know the things that you shouldn’t do.
1. Don’t get personal.
One of the common mistakes that many people make when they are arguing with someone is that they target the personal life of the person.
Remember to only focus on your point, not on the other person’s honesty, lifestyle, and integrity. Never attack your opponent as a person, but only the issue being raised.
2. Don’t get distracted.
The person you’re arguing with may try to throw you off and distract you with unnecessary questions. You should stay firm with your values and beliefs for you to stay on point with your argument.
3. Don’t point out all your points for argument, but focus only on the strong ones.
If you have several arguments on your list, remove all the weak ones and only focus on your strong arguments. Get all the information and evidence that you need to make your case even stronger.
Trying to strengthen your weak arguments will only let your opponent rebut and make your case look weak.
How to Have a Productive Argument
There’s a given point in time where you will be at an argument no matter where you are. Whether you’re at home, school, work, or even the mall, disagreements can happen.
There are ways you can have a productive argument rather than a disruptive one. In this section, we will discuss how you can have a productive argument without losing your point.
Before the Argument
- It’s important that you try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. If you can’t resolve it at that specific moment, choose a date on your calendar for you to solve the issue. Additionally, plan a reward for yourself once you’ve resolved the issue so that you have something to look forward to.
- The next thing that you would want to do is to schedule the date you chose with the other party. Make sure that they are available on that date and that there are no conflicts.
- Now that you have an agreed schedule, gather all the data and evidence that you need to strengthen your argument. Remember to keep it simple and easy to understand for everyone.
- The last thing that you would want to do to prepare before the argument is to understand the point of view of the person that you’re arguing to. When you do this, you might see things from a new perspective and you will learn any strengths or weaknesses that your argument has.
During the Argument
- When arguing with someone, never raise your voice even if you feel like you’re losing your temper and you’re running with emotions. Take a step back and breathe for a while before you start talking again.
- Don’t play the blaming game. An argument would never stop if you will continuously blame each other. Try to avoid saying “you”, instead use the word “I”. For example, “you did this..”, “I felt that”.
- If you can, try to use visuals to state your point. Using visuals will help the other party understand your point better and faster. Show them the pros and cons of your argument and get everyone involved in putting out their suggestions regarding the issue.
- Show that you’re engaged with the conversation by showing positive body language and keeping your arms relaxed. Face the person that you’re talking to and maintain eye-to-eye contact when making your statement.
- Always ask open-ended questions. You will learn more things when the other person explains their side.
- Never only focus on winning the argument, but try your best that your opponent will understand your entire point.
After the Argument
- If needed, offer an apology. Arguments can be stressful for both parties and there’s a chance that you might hurt the feelings of the other person. Also, take note of how the argument is going. When it becomes too heated, accept the responsibility and try to tone it down.
- After both sides provide all the information that they have, collect all the data and evidence to see the bigger picture of the situation. Be open to any feedback from the other person. Provide feedback to them if you have anything else to say.
- Get a mediation. One of the most important things to consider when you’re going to have an argument with someone is to get a mediator that will stand in between the two of you. There are certain cases where both sides never agree with each other and it becomes too heated that no one understands what’s going on anymore. Mediation will help both sides to stay on track and even help cool down the situation.
Winning an argument can sometimes be tough especially if both sides are passionate about their values and beliefs. Remember the dos and don’ts we listed above for you to win an argument.