Arguments are a part of life. They happen frequently and consume time. They can be frustrating and never ending if you never learn how to argue properly. Do how do you get an edge in the art of arguing? The main important point to stay calm. It can be difficult in the heat of the moment to keep control of your emotions but if you lose your cool you lose.
Always use the facts. Evidence is key in winning any verbal altercation. The truth is hard to refute so be ready with key facts to be able to spit out when needed. Have quotes, surveys, statistics, past examples at your disposal. This will leave them stumbling to refute you.
Stay in control by asking questions. If you ask the right ones you can make your rival struggle to come up with answers. You want to challenge the core of his argument. Ask him what evidence he has. Ask him what it is about the issue that makes him so angry. This can calmly get a rise out of them.
Listen to everything they say very carefully. It is rare that someone listens in an argument. They just wait to speak. They can only hear their own thoughts. You can pick apart weakness in his strategy this way. Nobody expects you to listen as carefully as you are. Staying calm allows you to hear the details in a way that he cannot. Bringing back everything that he said in his own words can not be refuted. You will gain new information as well that you may not have known that will look like you knew it already.
Don’t get personal in an argument. Attack the issues and not the person. If they attack you, perfect. Then you can ride the moral high horse all the way to the stable. Ask them “ what does this have to do with now?” It will embarrass them once they realize what an ass they look bringing up something from 20 years ago when they begin to lose their point.
Appealing to your opponent’s higher values can be a real strategic move. Make the issue bigger than he is. “Shouldn’t everyone be acting in this manner to make the lake cleaner for future generations to use?” This puts logic front and center into the argument as well as emotion. This is a combination that is hard to disagree with. Concede when they have a good point. If you argue every point, you are just doing it to be argumentative and will begin to lose your real motives. If they make a good argument, you can agree but bring up another good point. “ That can be true the death penalty may wrongly accuse some innocent individuals. It does however act as a strong deterrent for the majority of society to not commit heinous crimes.”
Watch your rival closely and study him. Understand what his strengths are as well as his weaknesses. See what his core values are to appeal to them. This puts you in a position to exploit their weaknesses and turn the argument back on them. Be prepared to negotiate and come up with a compromise.
Study your opponent. Know their strengths, weaknesses, beliefs and values. You can appeal to their higher values. You can exploit their weaknesses by turning their arguments back on them. Water down your biggest arguments with weak ones. If you have 4 strong points and two weaker ones then just put your energy on the strong. Hold your own on your points and ask for agreement. If you ramble on and use the weaker arguments then your rival can rebut them and make your case look weak. Make this a win-win. There is usually a place in the middle of every situation that meets your needs as well as some of your opponent’s.