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6 Keys to Winning an Argument
“That’s the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you’re never wrong.” ― Christopher Buckley
Everyone loves to discuss and argue about different topics, but oftentimes such argument leads to insulting each other with no conclusions determined. Debating is always a part of life, but quarreling up a storm is going to lead you no where and this is where the art of winning an argument comes in handy.
Though it’s always best to keep the relationship with the opponent on top of your mind, you might want to do everything it takes to win the argument. If it is so, here are 5 keys to winning an argument you’d love to know.
1. Attack the basic assumption of your opponents
Once upon a time in ancient China, there was a great warrior. He won battles after battles with one simple trick: He attacked the feet of the opponents’ horses. So no matter how strong or fierce his opponents were, once their horses were hurt, they fell to the ground and became helpless.
Same with arguments. Every argument has its own basic assumption. Once you identify and attack your opponents’ basic assumption, their whole argument would automatically collapse. Having said that, of course, you have to be sure that the basic assumption of your argument stands as well.
2. Know the facts
Information is power and if you’ve knowledge, you can provide absolute proof that you are right and are on top. Always make sure that you know the facts before you get involved in an argument. This way, you can make sure that you let no-errors and half-truths get in between your argument.
Also make sure to not state something “true” unless you know about it. If you lie, chances are your opponent will get hold of it and you might not have anything to prove it. It’s also distressing to argue with someone who makes points on the fly and has no idea about it.
3. Stay on the point
The most difficult part during an argument is sticking to the subject you were debating on. If you or your opponent brings in a new theory completely unrelated to the topic, you’ll be discussing on a entirely different topic and you develop myriad of unnecessary viewpoints. There are times when a clever opponent will try to bring you on knees by changing the subject. If so, consider it a sign that he’s feeling threatened and is finding it hard to get back to the original subject.
4. Stay calm and be soft
Raising your voice is never going to win you an argument and this is possibly the worst practice if you’re learning how to debate. You need to stay calm and focused all the time. The more you raise your voice, the louder you opponent will talk and it’ll turn out to be a yelling session without a conclusion. Staying calm will give you a lot of time to think and make good points to strengthen your argument. Remember, it’s not the person with the loudest voice who wins the argument, it’s the one with the most compelling points.
5. Don’t attack or play dirty
The key to winning an argument is by presenting good counter-arguments rather than blatantly telling that your opponent is wrong. Going straight and telling them it is wrong will only raise anger and the argument might turn dirty. If it’s your friend who attacks you, stay calm and never resort to name-calling or going on personal level. Social and racial slurs reflects that you are not confident and that you lack knowledge on the argument’s subject. Stay calm and play it easy so that your opponent can understand it was worth getting involved in the argument.
6. Stay silent
Right after you complete your point and make a strong argument, stop speaking and give your opponent some time to do all the talking. This will ensure that you get time to think on what your opponent blusters and fumbles which will help you to think of different other arguments to make. Many arguments are won by not arguing at all because silence is golden. It’ll make your opponent nervous and in an uncomfortable situation which puts you in an upper-hand to win the argument.
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