Arguments are an inevitable part of life. Through relationships, friendships and professional associations, conflict of ideas drive productivity and create improvement. Merriam Webster dictionary defines an argument as, “an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one.” This definition recognizes that opposite views are present and that there is a discussion regarding them, but it doesn’t recognize whether someone wins or loses an argument. Are arguments supposed to be won and if so how does one win an argument?
Let’s break this down. The first thing behind an argument is content. Usually, there needs to be validity behind the content of the argument. Logically, this makes sense. How can someone win an argument without any validity?
In recent trolling of the internet, I’ve read countless articles which persuasively argue a point which really lacks legitimacy. But how do those people and writings stand out and create such a movement behind their views?
After much contemplation, I decided. It’s not necessarily the reasoning behind the belief, it’s the mannerism in which the belief is presented.
A pristine example is the notorious Adolf Hitler. We can assign the blame of mass annihilation of millions and World War II to him. He created such a movement that took thousands of patriotic militants and turned them into killing machines. Hitler’s ideas were definitely not lawful, just or valid. So how did Hitler achieve such high power, such popularity, and so much success? How did he persuade the general public to argue for his beliefs?
Historians believe one of the reasons he reached his achievements was the mannerism in which he presented himself. In historical accounts, Hitler was described as someone with charisma and strength. He spoke with eloquence which demanded respect and attention. It wasn’t what he was saying that was capturing him, it was his self- promotion and image that drew in his supporters.
The content of what Hitler preached was not really the backbone of his power, it was the nature in which he approached the argument that attributed to his success.
So is winning an argument all about the grace in which you approach it?
Personally, I say it is a huge contributor. I still believe every person needs sound points to persevere in conflict. However, people underestimate the art of communication within a conflict. Screaming, acting out, losing control in an argument, even over valid ideas, discredits the argument entirely. The trick is the method of communication. This is a major key to winning any sort of argument.So, next time you have a disagreement, not only think about the content of the argument but keep in mind the manner in which you approach it.