How to win an argument
Before you start arguing… listen
To win an argument you need to understand your opponents thought process and point of view. If you know what they think and why, you have an advantage. So start by asking open ended questions and encourage them to explain their point of view. You need a clear picture of what they think and why.
Show them that respect, they’re more likely to let you put in your rebuttal without interrupting. In this way you get them to listen to what at you have to say and evaluate it.
How to win an argument using physical signals
There are powerful physical signals you can use to gain advantage in any argument. Here are some you can use.
Maintain eye contact
Look calmly and directly into their eyes when they’re making their argument. People subconsciously look for small signs of uncertainty or concession in an argument. Look away for even a second it will be seen as doubt or weakness on your side and reinforce their commitment. Force them to maintain eye contact with you and this will effect their delivery.
Human beings subconsciously build trust and empathy with body language. They do it by emulating the body language of whoever they are interacting with. Its like a whole other conversation going on at a different level.
You build trust in your opponent by doing this… a sense of non verbal agreement. You are defusing the situation before you put your own point of view forward. You are laying the groundwork. Keep it natural.
Make eye contact
Always maintain eye-contact when your opponent is speaking. This is scientifically proven to make your opponent less persuasive so you’ll have the upper hand when it comes to providing counter-arguments. Don’t break eye contact until they are finished speaking.
Before you launch into your counter-argument, paraphrase their argument back to them. Make it clear that this is from what you understand them to have said. Your’re proving that you listened and understood them. Its about building trust.
When they realize you are listening to them… and not just waiting for a chance to butt in with your own counter argument, you defuse the situation. They develop respect for you and will be more inclined to listen when you put your point of view forward. They start to trust you.
When your opponent trusts you your argument becomes more persuasive.
The opposite of this is to counterattack reflexively without fully understanding the other persons point of view. This wastes time and makes you look bad. The argument becomes heated and that helps nobody.
Before you present your own position, be sure to tell your opponent what you agree with about their argument. They will be more likely to listen to you and your arguments with an open mind. They will feel a moral obligation to do that.
It demonstrates you don’t have a closed mind on the issue and your opponent will be more inclined to give you a fair hearing when you present your point of view.
Go a little further and tell them which parts you agree with and why before you present your own argument. They will be far more inclined to consider your views if you’ve affirmed some of their views in advance.
Know your facts
If you don’t know your facts – don’t get into an argument about them. Their are no techniques to win an argument about something you know nothing about. There’s also nothing more annoying than somebody who continues to stick to their guns even when they discover they are wrong because they don’t want to be seen to “lose”.
So be sure you’re on firm ground when you push your point. You have to expand and explain your arguments. If you can’t – you’ve lost the argument. (Find out how to learn anything quickly here)
Prompt your opponent to agree with you
When you make firm statements about the core of your argument, end with a verbal invitation to him to agree. A short interrogative like “…don’t you think?” or …wouldn’t you?” obliges them to indicate some kind of agreement just to be polite. And when they’ve done that they are on the back foot.
Keep it cool
Never raise your voice in an argument. If you can’t defend your position without yelling, you probably don’t have a valid point of view. Your opponent will either sense a moral victory and come in for the kill or descend to the same level and yell back at you. It’s not how to win an argument and they certainly won’t be drawn towards your point of view.
Anger is never attractive. Be passionate, but also calm and dignified.
You’ll never bring anyone around to your point of view by yelling. Thats not how to win an argument.
Look for common ground
Instead of trying to destroy everything your opponent says… look for areas where you agree. Tell him which of his points you agree with and mention them in your own argument. Keep it positive and you have a better chance of your position prevailing. Accept whatever your opponent concedes with grace. Whatever you do don’t gloat.
You may not be a great debater and you may even find the idea of an argument intimidating. But if you follow these simple rules you will increase your powers of persuasion enormously. Even in the environment of an argument, you will prevail with these simple techniques and rules. You have what you need to win an argument.
The principle is to get people to listen to you because you have powers of persuasion. These powers will serve you well and are worth the effort to acquire. Start this process with these simple tips. You now know how to win an argument.