In the modern era of social media and technology the art of winning arguments has become an admirable social skill to have. It is the most sought-after life skill these days indefinitely because it is not easy to convince your counterpart that you are after all correct.
How many times have we scrolled through a social media post and seen people arguing about what they think is right according to them? Pretty easily about a hundred times.
Winning arguments isn’t strictly restricted to family, it can be an impressive skill to demonstrate at your workplace too. Because who wouldn’t want to have the upper hand at work? Quite simply we all do.
Nobody enjoys the feelings of insult and embarrassment when you are being made to look ignorant in front of others during an argument. So naturally, we resort to anger to help curb our outrage in the situation. This reaction in reality doesn’t do you any favors whatsoever as you not only begin losing logical ground, you also come off as agitated and someone unsure of his facts and figures.
If these are habits you demonstrate in arguments, don’t worry we’ve got you covered.
Keep scrolling to know the psychological aspect of arguments and the tricks you can implement to win arguments.
How Does Psychology Come Into Play In Arguments?
Every activity we take part in is closely linked with our emotions, feelings, and mental growth. This can also be referred to as the psychological aspect of certain things. In a similar fashion, our arguments and arguing abilities leave a lasting impact on us psychologically.
The general view around arguments is that they bring out the worst in us and arouses negative feelings and emotions. Which can be very true at times. But on the other hand, it can have many positive outlooks on one’s friendships and relationships.
Many times arguing can prove to be beneficial as it can become a source for us to voice out our opinions and true self-beliefs to the other person involved. Which gives them as well as yourself a true insight into their personality and thinking process.
This can be a big revelation as we get to understand their perspective and take on different things, in short increasing our awareness regarding others’ emotions and perspectives.
Similarly getting involved in arguments can also prove to be a motivating and energizing experience. Especially when you get into heated arguments you may feel the blood rush to your face, which is an indication that you are physically pumped up.
This way you have more energy in your body and with every passing second, you become more and more determined to prove your point further showing your motivation.
The 15 Psychological Tricks To Help You Win Arguments With Ease
Trick #1 Remain Calm
First of all, it is important for you to keep your emotions in check because as stated above the more agitated you get the lesser the chances of winning an argument.
The calmer you remain the more riled up your opponent will get. This way your opponent will be showcased as the aggressor. Don’t worry about looking weak by maintaining your cool, because this trait shows you are a level-headed person who can exercise self-control.
By maintaining your composure you undisputedly end up having the upper hand in the argument. Even if your opponent begins raising their voice, you should do your best to try and reply politely and softly, because your opponent is likely to follow suit.
It is important to regulate your emotions and avoid getting too angry for your as well as your opponent’s well-being. Your aim should be to prove your point or reach a consensus along with your partner rather than antagonizing each other. This is why it is important to adopt a healthy approach when involved in an argument.
Trick #2 Make Use of Positive Words
Arguments are based on conflicts. In conflicts, we all are trying to prove our point or explain our side of the story. In this case, we often believe ourselves to be right. Thus we use words such as “certain”, “nothing” and “couldn’t” which are negative words.
Instead, we should use positive words in the argument like “please” for example. This way you will not be demeaning your partner/opponent and will also be showing them respect.
It will help avoid the argument from becoming too heated or outrageous, and would rather have a positive impact and be a learning experience for those involved.
This would be an extended branch of being calm in an argument as positive words will help maintain a positive atmosphere.
Trick #3 Take Pauses
Taking silent pauses when someone is trying to validate their opinion can be a very effective tactic to psychologically win an argument. Want to know why? Simply because the other person gets uncomfortable and second-guesses everything.
This will disarm your opponent as the longer you stay silent whilst you stare at them the more conscious they will be of their facts and figures. Hence you will have the upper hand as it will make it seem like you are sure of your opinion and is more likely of being factually correct.
Trick #4 Maintain An Open-Minded Approach
Being defensive in an argument will assure that you lose an argument. So the best way to approach an argument is if you want to win it psychologically, you will have to be open-minded.
Let your opponent/partner speak, this way you may resolve the argument without actually having to argue much. Also by listening to your opponent, you will ensure that you have thoughtfully reviewed their perspective, hence your offered solution is the best outcome of the argument.
Similarly, by being open to suggestions and alternative points of view you can also convince your partner to come on board with your opinion without having to validate your side of the argument much.
Trick #5 Exaggerate Your Opponents Bearings
The narrower and restricted your argument is the easier it is for you to defend. While you keep that in mind, another way to psychologically impact your opponent to win the argument is to take their argument beyond the extended point.
This way you have more points to counter. Thus your opponent’s argument will weaken when you start pointing out the ridiculousness of their statement by broadening their bearings and position.
Trick #6 Push Your Opponent To React
If you want to further exasperate your opponent you could do that by pretending that the argument isn’t affecting you that much. You could smirk, chuckle or shake your head.
These actions or reactions tend to drive people insane. The more emotionally exasperated the opponent gets the more likely they are to start making absurd claims and become defensive of their opinions.
Hence you will have more room to aptly point out the flaws in the argument, which will eventually let you emerge victoriously in the end.
Trick #7 Make The First Move
According to studies the person that offers a resolution first in the argument is more likely to have a stronger influence on what is agreed upon in the end. Therefore you should try and be the first one to offer a solution to the problem that has led to the argument.
This is also known as the anchoring effect, as you are causing your opponent to rely heavily on the piece of information provided to them hence influencing their decisions. Because the judgments, decisions, or solutions your opponent ought to take up will be based around the anchor, which will ensure that if not entirely, at least to some extent the outcome will be in your favor.
Trick #8 Adopt The Socratic Method
The Socratic method is an argumentative method that helps eliminate unnecessary conflict by invoking critical thinking to reach an agreed conclusion. According to this method, the involved parties question the argument presented rather than verbalizing their stance.
Thus, there is a general understanding of different perspectives whilst simultaneously avoiding conflict. This is a cooperative psychological method that won’t necessarily ensure that you win the argument but rather it will stimulate critical thinking and help you come up with different ideas and solutions.
It will help not only test your logic but also help reason out and reach a mutual understanding about a certain set of beliefs.
Trick #9 Narrate A Convincing Story
To bridge the knowledge gap make sure that the story you tell your partner or opponent is convincing. Many people are tough nuts to crack and are not solely convinced on the basis of just facts and figures, they require a real-life event or story to convince them to agree with you.
A well-constructed narrative without loopholes could be the key to persuading the other person that you could be right. So try and keep a straight face whilst bringing them on board with your perspective.
Trick #10 Clarity Is Crucial
Avoid misunderstandings between yourself and your partner. This is why is necessary for you to establish a common ground or key factors in the argument that you can agree upon. Otherwise, it is highly unlikely that the argument will be fruitful, and will end in a disagreement.
To avoid further confusion by stating facts that are incomprehensible to your opponent you will only further elongate the argument. Because some people aren’t the brightest, they need to be spoon-fed. So try your best always to give short, precise, and clear responses.
Try not to over mention facts or figures because they can overwhelm your opponent and as a result hinder their ability to make decisions. In the end, people make their own decisions, you just have to push them to agree with you!
Trick #11 Mirror The Posture Of Your Opponent
A popular tactic people adopt when arguing is to stare down their opponent which may be successful in some situations it may seem okay but not always. Psychologically if you want to win an argument it is likely to have the opposite effect on your opponent as they are going to resist your attempt to persuade them.
Do your best to not intentionally stare at your opponent. Keep a check on your body language. The more relaxed you appear physically the less resistance there is going to be from the opposition, which will eventually work in your favor.
To appear non-threatening try to mirror the standing or sitting position of your opponent as it will put them at ease. Also, avoid holding anything in your hand or getting distracted, you may not want to stare at your opponent but try not to look away from them either.
Trick #12 Propose Higher Values
Another way to psychologically disarm your opponent to win the argument is to appeal to motives that may become hard to disagree with.
As stated emotions do play a part in the decision-making abilities of people so bringing in their morals or questioning them that for example, “Don’t we all want the best for this company?” could make them fumble with their argument.
Thus, they will find it difficult to disagree with your perspective and are probably not going to pursue their argument any further.
Trick #13 Undermine Your Opponent With Logic
To have an edge in the argument you could take the help of logic. Build your argument by linking up the possible effects and outcomes, cleverly to showcase your point of view to be correct.
In a similar way to building a good narrative, cement your opinion by bringing in logic about how one idea or event leads to another. In this manner, your opponent’s point of view will be undermined and you will have a higher chance of winning the argument!
Trick #14 Know Your Opponent
What is a better way to win an argument than by using someone’s personality flaws and weaknesses against them? None.
It is important to know what flaws and weaknesses you can exploit of your opponent so that you have an advantage in the argument. By turning their arguments back against them, your opponent or partner will get confused about what they are arguing for.
This way they will get flustered and unsure of their stance and are likely to yield to your perspective.
It can be a particularly interesting trick to implement in an argument against a family member or close friend.
Trick #15 Be Confident
To be heard and considered as a worthy opponent, your confidence is vital. You must not falter or second guess yourself because that will allow your opponent to question your perspective.
Make claims with the belief that you are correct. The more confident and staunch you are with your side of the argument, the weaker your opponent will get. Your confidence will ensure that psychologically you have a commanding position in the argument
Not only validate your argument confidently but rather denounce and contradict your opponent’s arguments also with equal confidence. This way you will make them appear weak and lead them to second guess themselves. Hence you will have more or less won the argument.
Avoid contradicting your opponent at every point they present. Rather choose only a few points to counter and question in the argument. As the overuse of this technique could lead you to make a fool of yourself.
Winning arguments isn’t just about who’s right and who’s wrong. Add a couple of psychological aspects along with tricks and it becomes a completely different ballgame.
It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea to be concrete about their facts but if you know how to psychologically influence other people, to some extent you have already won the argument. Therefore it is not only important to have the knowledge and understanding of the topic or issue that the argument is based on. The skill to implement when and what to say is also equally important.
If you are not confident, have clarity, and don’t know when and how to counter-attack the opponent’s reasoning, even if you are right you have already lost half the command over the argument. Also, avoid losing hope that you can win an argument because giving up early and losing hope will only prove your points to be wrong.
Remember to have faith in yourself, You can always turn the tables around in your favor. Because as they say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
But at the end of the day, not every argument should be pursued so that one of the parties wins, some arguments never come to a conclusion whilst others end with a mutual understanding. It is important to take part in healthy and positive arguments because it will help us grow mentally.
Heated and emotionally charged arguments aren’t beneficial to anyone, so if you feel an argument is becoming fiery and intense it is best to avoid arguing any further. Winning isn’t always the solution.
Winning an argument is an ideal situation for us all but at times it is better to concede and give in especially when arguing with a loved one; so that you avoid any bitter feelings.
Having said that, keep these psychological tricks up your sleeve for the next argument and see how easily you can sway the argument in your favor!