I have found that the best way for me to win an argument is if I play both parts.
I wish I could stop thinking of it is “winning” an argument, as if it’s a game. I mostly want to win because I don’t want to lose.
CONVINCE is a better word. I want to CONVINCE someone of something because it’s right and true and I know it will make them (or maybe even the world) better for believing the true thing. I should also be open to being convinced because if I believe something that’s wrong then of course I want to find out as soon as possible so I can replace it with the right thing.
What if this whole time I thought toothpaste was for your armpits and deodorant was for your teeth? That would be a miserable and embarrassing life. I’d hope someone could convince and correct my bad thinking.
Here are 3 reasons why I think it’s better to convince than to win:
1. There’s a lot more compassion is “convincing” than there is in “winning” the argument.
2. It puts disagreements in a better perspective. The more trivial arguments lose intensity when it stops being about winning. Why do I need to convince someone that The Dark Knight is not the greatest movie ever made? Is it that important? Instead I think I can convince them to watch more movies to see what else is out there.
(at this point I would like to make it clear that I enjoy The Dark Knight but I don’t think it’s the greatest movie ever)
3. No one ever thinks they lost an argument. Have you ever said to yourself “boy, I really lost that one.” NO! Of course not. You walk away mad. You play it over and over in your head. You talk about how dumb, mean, and ugly the other person was. But you never declare yourself the loser. So part of the satisfaction of winning is taken away when you’re the only one who thinks you’ve won.
I think this can really help my mindset when I walk into a disagreement. Now if I could only control how loud and angry I sound whenever I get passionate.
Even if I’m not mad, I always come across like the russians playing chess on The Simpsons.