How to win an argument: tips

How to win an argument: tips

Here are a few tips for winning an argument, both to those you are constantly engaged into debates and to those who aren’t, but can be prepared in this way to face future debates successfully. Some may already have certain strategies that are not effective, so they can correct and adopt a stronger position during an argument.

1. Keep calm: when in a debate try to keep your calm and avoid raising your voice, as they louder you talk, the lauder your opponent is going to get, and that simply means chaos. Violence, even verbal is not an answer, and even more importantly, you should lower your voice a bit more than normal, as this will cause your audience and opponents to listen even more carefully.

2. Win your opponent on your side: more exactly, agree with him on a general subject, it doesn’t even have to be related to the topic of your debate. Try something like “You must agree with me that petrol is overpriced”, and voila, you win a psychological battle and are no longer seen as an enemy.

3. Do not engage into attacks: never say directly that your opponent is wrong from the start, as you will automatically have an annoyed person in front of you. Instead, try to prove them wrong with solid counter-arguments. Always show good will and be humble when and if you win the argument.

4. Be fair and don’t play dirty: that is, don’t start calling everybody names, as you must face their argument, not the person presenting it. It is obvious that if you start resorting to criticism, you no longer have ways to support your idea, and the battle is pretty much lost.

5. Define your fundamentals: be sure that when starting a debate both sides have some fundamental “truths” they follow, otherwise there is no room for a classic debate. Maybe the structure presented in the Summa Theologica by Saint Thomas Aquinas can help you clear up any uncertainties related to this issue.

6. Stick to the subject: try not to divert from it as it means you cannot actually defend your argument anymore. You may be tricked into digressing, but don’t fall into their trap and quickly return to your subject, as their purpose is to confuse you.

7. Always ask questions: when you opponent presents you with a fact to support his/her argument, always ask questions that could highlight possible flaws, such as “tell me more”, or “does it seem reasonable?”. This is called the Socratic method and will always help you better analyze the opponent’s arguments and help you come with effective and valid counter-arguments.

8. Listen carefully: Silence is golden, as we all know, and this can also work well in your favour. After presenting a strong argument, let your opponent do all the talking, as he/she will get frustrated, especially if they don’t have a good counter-response.

9. Know your facts: do not support a fact if you know that it is now true, because you will have to prove it. If you know your arguments are not 100% valid, do not even bother to start a debate on a subject as you will surely lose.

10. Know when and how to accept defeat: There will be debates in which the opponent may make a stronger point and crush all your arguments. It happens, and they will corner you. At that moment, be a fair player and accept your defeat, but be polite and graceful about it. And more importantly, do not continue supporting your point just for the sake of it. If you were wrong, accept it with dignity and learn something from it.



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