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To win an argument one must keep in mind the following factors: Is the argument
worth fighting? Do you have the proper background to win the argument? Who is
your opponent? And finally, do I have the proper argumentative behavior.
Before getting involved in an argument, you must decide whether or not it is
even worth fighting. Does the subject at hand have any interest to you, does it
make a difference if you win or lose. An argument about Jackie Gleson's weight
at death, or the amount of torque output in a 1976 Ford Pinto, probably doesn't
make much difference to anyone and isn't very interesting. Not getting involved
is probably the best way to go. However if the argument will decide who gets the
best parking spot at school, or whether you have one week or one month to
write an essay, you may want to consider getting into the dispute. If fighting
arguments is just an “ego boost” or hobby, then disregard the above.
The next item to take into consideration is your background on the topic. You
should never enter an argument you have no information about, because it will
only end in “your mother is a .....” insults. In a factual argument, it is
helpful if the truth is on your side, but as we've learned from our politicians,
it is not necessary. However, if the truth does eventually get out you may end
up looking like a fool. In a multi-sided argument, an argument which is not
dealing in absolute truths, but rather different opinions, it is preferable to
believe in the side you for which you are arguing, but isn't necessary if your
background is strong enough. In simpler terms, don't get into an argument you
know “nothin” about.
It is important to know with whom you are arguing. If you are in a relationship
(guy - girl), and you are the guy, give up now you can't win. The laws of nature
are against you. If you are the girl in the relationship, you don't need advise.
It doesn't matter if you are right or wrong you've won. Just act upset or let
out a few tears and he'll crumble.
However if you are involved in a same sex, or non relationship bound, argument
the game plan is much different. You must have background information, as
discussed earlier, as well as a knowledge of your opponent. If he has no insight
into the subject and you do, then the upper hand is yours.
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You can be confident that no matter what you say, your opponent can't refute you.
However if he is well learned in the topic you must be careful not to “bullshit,”
because he can catch you. And when he does, you end up not only wrong, but also
looking foolish, as well as being discredited in any other factual dispute.
Another good idea is to always seem confident. An argument is psychological as
well as factual. Be assertive in emphasizing your point of view, and never let
your opponent get the best of you by allowing your self to lose your cool. A
calm state of mind in a dispute will keep you focused on the issue at hand. If
the quarrel does become heated or moves to a personal level, because your
adversary begins to hurl personal insults at you, feel free to do one of the
following. You can leave the argument. Once your rival has begun insulting you,
you know he's lost the fight. However don't just walk away, because this will
leave you looking like a coward. You must end with the line, “ Obviously, you
have nothing intelligent to say,” which not only gives you the freedom to leave,
it also insults his intelligence. You've won the argument, don't turn around to
face your opponent, just walk away. Your other option is to force him to return
to the topic of disagreement. To do this throw a quick insult back at him and
continue with the real debate by the insulting him and then saying, “But
really..... .” To do this you must be both quick and witty. If you are lacking
in either one, use the first option. Do not allow yourself to be engage in a
back and forth flinging of insults. This will make you look as ignorant as he is.
What ever you do never resolve to violence. This does not mean let yourself get
whipped by all means fight back if necessary. But don't ever throw the first
punch, remember, he who throws The first punch loses the argument. This may not
soothe the swelling in your right eye, but it does mean that you can hold your
head up high. And isn't that what's really important?
Remember pick your arguments well. Don't fight a battle not worth fighting.
Don't argue about something you know nothing about. You can't win an argument
with your girlfriend. Know the capabilities of your opponent. Don't lose your
cool. And don't ever let them see you sweat. With these simple rules you are
guaranteed a strong argument and the avoidance of an ugly situation.