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4 Unconventional Ways to Convince Others Easily

4 Unconventional Ways to Convince Others Easily

Maybe it’s your die hard conservative uncle, or maybe it’s your vegan friend who calls everyone who disagrees with him a murderer. The point is, everyone knows someone they just can’t convince to see their way. Dealing with these kinds of people is ridiculously frustrating!

For many of us, when we’re talking to these people we’re stuck wondering — how the hell do we get them to see reason? If there were some easy ways to convince them wouldn’t we have stumbled upon it by now? What if we could easily and compassionately show people that maybe they’re not as smart as they think they are…and that, in fact, their views are less developed than they might otherwise believe? Well — turns out that after all this time — there is a way.

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Here are the four steps to follow when trying to convince others:

1. Ask your opponent to explain the HOW and not the WHY

In a recent article on Business Insider, Drake Baer explained that the best way to make a debate opponent agree with you is to simply ask them how they would implement their views. The reason this works is because when people really have to take the time to think through their beliefs, then many of the “less thought-out ideas” become obvious, and are a lot easier to prove wrong. As they continue to talk they’ll increasingly realize that “Oh wait… I don’t know as much as I thought I did about this topic” and they will often adopt more moderate views.

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In some ways this idea seems kind of natural to me — after all, isn’t proving to your opponent the weakness of their foundational beliefs a key aspect to any argument? What this method does well is that it gives you a single effective question to force your opponent to show the logic behind their thinking. It helps to elevate both sides of the argument and gives everyone a chance to learn something.

2. Agree with your opponent

In my opinion, this partially ties in with a really interesting idea that Dale Carnegie touches on in his classic text How To Win Friends And Influence People. In the classic book he says that in order to convince someone in an argument you have to agree with your opponent. In some ways that is really just a continuation on the previous train of thought, because after all — if you agree with your opponent on a basic thing — then they are essentially obligated to figure out how the logic of their next point ties into the previous notion. Ultimately, as they start to further think things through they will be forced to entertain more moderate views, and become more open to seeing your side of things…unless of course you’ve been outmatched!

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The thing is — arguments usually become more radicalized when people begin to disagree. The more people disagree, the more they end up becoming convinced that they were right in the first place. By agreeing with your opponent and showing that you are not a monster who refuses to think things through, you are helping to establish your credibility. Once you have established credibility, then your opponent has to listen to you and pick apart what you have to say — giving you a chance to prove once and for all why you are right and they are wrong.

3. Present actionable points

This point may seem obvious at first but I think its apparent obviousness speaks to how hard it is to get right. In many ways this links right back into the first point — if you don’t know how you want to do whatever you are arguing for then your argument is essentially invalid. Beyond that though, having actionable points is a great way to convince people to see your way because it shows that you have researched the topic and know what you are talking about. Clearly, that kind of legitimacy is essential if you want to have any sort of success in proving a point.

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One thing I’ve found is that it’s better when you can find actions that have worked in similar situations. For example — let’s say you are a supporter of accepting immigrants to the U.S., and your opponent is a supporter of Donald Trump, and is trying to defend the idea of building some sort of wall to keep immigrants out. You could bring up the fact that similar attempts at sequestering a population led to extreme strife and ended up costing the state far more money tan they ever thought it could. The point being — knowing your shit is essential if you want to have actionable points people will respect.

After all, would you listen to the argument of someone who didn’t have any?

4. Be careful and respectful

To pull off most of these notions you need to have your own arguments properly set up. After all, even if you can prove that your opponent’s argument is invalid, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your side is any better! Far too often I’ve seen arguments crumble into people just hurling insults because they lost the desire to be careful with their points. Building off previous points, remember the following: If your opponent catches you off guard, don’t try and dismiss them. Rather, thank them for it and see if you can amend your position to include the flaw in your reasoning. If you prove that you can be reasonable your opponent will respect you all the more.

Let’s be real — arguing can be fun; many of you probably were in your high school debate club. It can be a good way to exercise your mind, but within all of us I think there is some desire to win. And by following this last point you can make sure that even if you don’t win, everybody will have a good time. No one wants to go in an argument that is intentionally hurtful or divisive. By following these points, you will gradually convince your adversaries to side with you while making sure that they don’t end up hating you — or becoming all the more obsessed with their own views.

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

Negativity affects ourselves and everyone around us. It limits our potential to become something great and live a fulfilling, purposeful life. Negativity has a tangible effect on our health, too. Research has shown that people who cultivate negative energy experience more stress, more sickness, and less opportunity over the course of their lives than those who choose to live positively.

When we make a decision to become positive, and follow that decision up with action, we will begin to encounter situations and people that are also positive. The negative energy gets edged out by all positive experiences. It’s a snowball effect.

Although negative and positive thoughts will always exist, the key to becoming positive is to limit the amount of negativity that we experience by filling ourselves up with more positivity.

Here are some ways to get rid of negativity and become more positive.

1. Become Grateful for Everything

When life is all about us, it’s easy to believe that we deserve what we have. An attitude of entitlement puts us at the center of the universe and sets up the unrealistic expectation that others should cater to us, our needs, and our wants. This vain state of existence is a surefire way to set yourself up for an unfulfilled life of negativity.

People living in this sort of entitlement are “energy suckers”–they are always searching for what they can get out of a situation. People that don’t appreciate the nuances of their lives live in a constant state of lacking. And it’s really difficult to live a positive life this way.

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When we begin to be grateful and appreciate everything in our lives–from the small struggles that make us better, to the car that gets us from A to B every day–we shift our attitude from one of selfishness, to one of appreciation. This appreciation gets noticed by others, and a positive harmony begins to form in our relationships.

We begin to receive more of that which we are grateful for, because we’ve opened ourselves up to the idea of receiving, instead of taking. This will make your life more fulfilling, and more positive.

2. Laugh More, Especially at Yourself

Life gets busy, our schedules fill up, we get into relationships, and work can feel task oriented and routine-driven at times. Being human can feel more like being a robot. But having this work-driven, serious attitude often results in negative and performance oriented thinking.

Becoming positive means taking life less seriously and letting yourself off the hook. This is the only life that you get to live, why not lighten up your mood?

Laughter helps us become positive by lightening our mood and reminding us not to take life so seriously. Are you sensitive to light sarcasm? Do you have trouble laughing at jokes? Usually, people who are stressed out and overly serious get most offended by sarcasm because their life is all work and no play.

If we can learn to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes, life will become more of an experiment in finding out what makes us happy. And finding happiness means finding positivity.

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3. Help Others

Negativity goes hand in hand with selfishness. People that live only for themselves have no higher purpose in their lives. If the whole point of this world is only to take care of yourself and no one else, the road to a long-term fulfillment and purpose is going to be a long one.

Positivity accompanies purpose. The most basic way to create purpose and positivity in your life is to begin doing things for others. Start small; open the door for the person in front of you at Starbucks or ask someone how their day was before telling them about yours.

Helping others will give you an intangible sense of value that will translate into positivity. And people might just appreciate you in the process.

4. Change Your Thinking

We can either be our best coach or our best enemy. Change starts from within. If you want to become more positive, change the wording of your thoughts. We are the hardest on ourselves, and a stream of negative self talk is corrosive to a positive life.

The next time you have a negative thought, write it down and rephrase it with a positive spin. For example, change a thought like, “I can’t believe I did so horribly on the test–I suck.” to “I didn’t do as well as I hoped to on this test. But I know I’m capable and I’ll do better next time.”

Changing our self-talk is powerful.

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5. Surround Yourself with Positive People

We become most like the people that we surround ourselves with. If our friend group is full of negative energy-suckers and drama queens, we will emulate that behavior and become like them. It is very difficult to become more positive when the people around us don’t support or demonstrate positive behavior.

As you become more positive, you’ll find that your existing friends will either appreciate the new you or they will become resistant to your positive changes. This is a natural response.

Change is scary; but cutting out the negative people in your life is a huge step to becoming more positive. Positive people reflect and bounce their perspectives onto one another. Positivity is a step-by-step process when you do it solo, but a positive group of friends can be an escalator.

6. Get into Action

Negative thoughts can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate. Negativity is usually accompanied by a “freak-out” response, especially when tied to relationships, people and to worrying about the future. This is debilitating to becoming positive and usually snowballs into more worry, more stress and more freak-outs.

Turn the negative stress into positive action. The next time you’re in one of these situations, walk away and take a break. With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths. Once you’re calm, approach the situation or problem with a pen and pad of paper. Write out four or five actions or solutions to begin solving the problem.

Taking yourself out of the emotionally charged negative by moving into the action-oriented positive will help you solve more problems rationally and live in positivity

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7. Take Full Responsibility, Stop Being the Victim

You are responsible for your thoughts.

People that consistently believe that things happen to them handicap themselves to a victim mentality. This is a subtle and deceptive negative thought pattern. Phrases like “I have to work” or “I can’t believe he did that to me” are indicators of a victim mentality. Blaming circumstances and blaming others only handicaps our decision to change something negative into something positive.

Taking full responsibility for your life, your thoughts and your actions is one of the biggest steps in creating a more positive life. We have unlimited potential within to create our own reality, change our life, and change our thoughts. When we begin to really internalize this, we discover that no one can make us feel or do anything. We choose our emotional and behavioral response to people and circumstances.

Make positive choices in favor of yourself.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny” ― Lao Tzu

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Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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