We all have that one friend, you know the one, the one who loves to argue about anything and everything. And if you’re having trouble naming that friend, guess what? It may be you!
Arguing can be fun at times, especially if you know that you’re right and the other person is wrong. But if truth be told, in the end, there really aren’t any winners when it comes to arguing.
In his book, How To Win Friends and Influence People, Mr. Dale Carnegie tells us that he’s come to the conclusion that is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument – and that is to avoid it. He goes on to say, Nine times out of ten, an argument ends with each of the contestants more firmly convinced than ever that he is absolutely right. You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is non combos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph. And – a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
Ben Franklin said, If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will.
If arguing isn’t the solution, what is? Here are some pointers from an article entitled Bits and Pieces.
Welcome disagreement – Maybe one of you is wrong and this is the way to correct your
Distrust your first instinctive impression – it’s easy to be defensive when we are in a
disagreeable situation. Don’t let yourself you go there.
Control your temper – Don’t let yourself get worked up.
Listen first – The more you listen to the other person, the greater chance you have to
understand where she is coming from.
Be honest – Admit error if necessary. Apologize for mistakes. It will disarm the situation
and reduce defensiveness.
Promise to think over your opponents’ ideas and study them carefully – If you say you
will, then do it. This will give you a chance to not make a rash decision by letting
you look at her side of conversation.
Thank your opponent sincerely for their interest – If he has taken the time to disagree
with you, it must mean he’s interested in the topic. You never know, this could turn into a
friendship at some point.
Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem – This will give you
a chance to take a hard look at both sides and ask, “Could my opponent be right?” It
can also give both parties a chance to have any emotions lessen with time.
How do you deal with an argument?