Knowing how to win an argument is a feat everyone aims for because it makes you look smart, knowledgeable, and confident to your recipient.
However, winning an argument has never been easy because it sometimes hurts our personal and social lives. Many people see arguments like sporting competitions where only one winner emerges, making others losers. As such, they will rather avoid arguments than get into it.
If you see an argument as something you must win, then you may have trouble getting people to agree with you in a convincing argument. Your focus will be on winning the argument without attempting to persuade someone to your point of view.
You can call their views nonsensical, stupid, and baseless. You even call them ignorant, myopic, and other condescending words- all in an attempt to make them agree with you. These tactics may help you win the arguments but will not let you persuade someone to agree to your point of view and understand their perspective, undermining the art of arguments.
Since we can’t get away from arguments in conversations, how do you win an argument logically and convincingly without stepping on others? If you like to know how to be better at arguing, continue reading.
Knowing how to argue effectively can help you provide good reasons for your conclusion and persuade someone to your point of view. Understand that it’s not about winning or losing but creating and sharing new knowledge.
Check out the following 12 ways of how to win an argument:
The first rule of how to win an argument is to relax and stay calm. The more intense you are in an argument, the harder it is to communicate effectively. The calmer you are, the easier it becomes to win a verbal argument.
If you find it hard to calm down, which is highly likely, try to breathe in and out four to five times before saying any word. That gives you time to think over your words and weigh their effect.
Maintain eye contact
Another trick to learn the art of argument is to look directly into your recipient’s eyeballs. Maintaining eye contact in convincing arguments can calm the other person down and make them listen to you.
That’s why it’s hard to win an argument with a smart person. By maintaining eye contact, you can persuade someone to your point of view easily. The person will also have no choice but to accept your point of view.
Avoid raising your voice
Raising your voice is a usual tactic many people use to win an argument, but it won’t help you know how to argue effectively.
Raising your voice does not only worsen the argument but inhibits you from hearing each other. Instead of shouting to pass your message across, calmly state your opinion by speaking slowly, calming you and your partner.
Express yourself clearly
Instead of focusing on the person’s “weak point of view,,” state your claims and back them up with logical reasons. For example, you may start by saying, “I understand your thoughts on this matter, but….”
It still does not mean the other person will listen to you, but it will make them pay attention for the time being. Besides, it is a great trick on how to be better at arguing.
You don’t need to have the last say
Understand that winning an argument does not mean you will have the last say. Even when you are right, you may not get people to agree with you. Argue your points clearly and effectively, even if they don’t sway your recipients.
The need to have the last say can severely affect the relationship you have with people. If you both have stated your case, and it seems like there is nothing left to say, let it go. Sometimes the key to winning an argument is to let sleeping dogs lie.
Take a break
One of the strategies for how to win an argument is for both of you to take a time out. During a convincing argument, a time-out is important so that you and the other person can take a deep breath and gain new perspectives on the issue.
Also, It can help you to create new ways to solve the issues. After then, you can set a specific time to revisit the issue – this time, with an open mind.
You can never win a verbal fight without listening to the other person. Many people are guilty of thinking of only their views without welcoming others’ opinions.
When you are open-minded, it means you accommodate new ideas, arguments, and facts that differ from yours. It can even help you learn something new, further broadening your horizon. Thus open-mindedness is a critical skill on how to win an argument.
Control your reactions
One of the ways to win an argument is to control your reaction. It is normal to feel the need to yell at the person to keep quiet or tell them a particular opinion is vague outrightly. You may get upset and feel like lashing out. All these signs are normal.
However, to win an argument, you need to control yourself. Instead, tell them exactly how you feel without resorting to name-calling. For example, you may say, “I’m sorry, but I find the claim that the world is unsafe incorrect. That’s because …”
Avoid some statements
If you want to know how to argue effectively, avoid certain phrases that can cause a rift between you and your recipients. No matter how you water down the situation, some statements lead to more conflicts. The phrases are:
You are wrong
To play devil’s advocate
You are overreacting
I will talk to you when you are ready to talk
You are blowing this out of proportion
These phrases do nothing but dispose of the other person’s opinion. It means you don’t acknowledge their views. So, if you want to persuade someone to your point of view, leave these phrases out in your argument.
Don’t attack physical appearance (Ad Hominem)
Always remember that arguments happen because you both don’t agree on some issues. It does not make the other person faulty. Even when you are truly right, it’s because you have the exposure they don’t have.
Attacking someone’s appearance and character rather than their opinions is not one of the ways to win an argument. If the other person attacks you this way, call their attention to it, or leave the conversation.
Check out this video to learn more about Ad Hominem and how you can fight them:
Agree with your recipient
This advice may sound strange, but agreeing to what your recipient says can help you win an argument. For instance, if you eventually agree to what a person says after a long back and forth discussion, they will be surprised. Particularly, it gives them time to reanalyze the situation.
That’s when you can point out your point of view. Compromising does not mean you are a fool. Instead, it means you know when to agree to disagree.
Use logical reasons to back up your argument
All it takes on how to win an argument is to state your points with proof and evidence. The truth is it’s hard to win an argument with a smart person when they support their opinions with verifiable facts.
Suppose you don’t have enough facts to use, state, and pay attention to the other person. Winning an argument is not about who can convince another. It is also about who is humble enough to learn.
Arguments are inevitable in our everyday activities. When you win an argument, it makes you feel good about yourself, but sometimes it makes the other person feel bad. That can cause a long-term rift if you don’t attend to it.
The solution on how to win an argument and get people to agree with you is to follow some of the steps outlined in this article.
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Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.