Recently, while considering whether to engage in a Facebook comment war about the teacher walkout with my extended family members, I came across an article on Psychology Today that outlined 6 helpful ways to win an argument. Though the list may be helpful for some people, I feel like it is lacking some crucial tactics. I don’t know if you have ever read or contributed to the comments section of TLO posts, but man do you readers like to argue! So to help you to debate your opinions on the walkout with family, friends or random internet foes, I have expanded that article and included some hints of my own. So here are 10 ways to win an argument about the walkout!
Fact check: Death threats, Teamsters shut down capitol construction, water shut off at teacher walkout https://t.co/Iuyk3ucU3L
— Brianna Bailey (@briOKC) April 5, 2018
1. Know your facts
There is nothing worse than being three vodka tonics deep into a debate with your roommate’s ass-hat boyfriend and realizing that you quoted an incorrect fact while making your case. So make sure you do your research before you engage in a drunken debate. Or choose the adult beverage like wine that makes you sleepy instead of feisty.
2. Make up facts
If you don’t know enough facts to prove your point, go ahead and make some up. But don’t make up statements that can be easily disproven, like the percentage of Oklahomans who voted for Mary Fallin or how many people die each year from panda attacks. Instead, make your made up facts so off the wall that nobody can prove them wrong. For example, did you know that 1 in 4 Oklahoma lawmakers have a Hey Arnold-influenced shrine to Harold Hamm in their closet? Now you do.
— Dawn Brockman (@dawnbrockman) April 4, 2018
3. Get really loud
If you drown out what the other person is saying, whose argument is technically the strongest?
4. Understand the other person’s point-of-view
Even if you think the other person’s argument is illogical, cyclical, and full of straw man arguments that equate basic human rights to communism, acknowledging that your opponent is a human being who likely has some reason as to why they believe their side can be a helpful way to avoid turning an argument into a brawl. So take the time to understand their point-of-view. Unless their point-of-view is stupid.
5. Only argue over social media
The benefits of arguing over social media include being able to think about an argument before you post it, the opportunity to research your side in real time, and the chance to delete everything the moment you realized you’ve been proven way wrong.
6. Watch your body language
Your body language can definitely get your point across. If you are confident in your argument, stand tall with your shoulders back while making direct eye contact with your opponent. Or if you’re losing, take the time to flip them the bird and walk away.
7. Watch what you wear
Yeah, you might have facts and logic. But if you are presenting the information while wearing a Macho Man Randy Savage t-shirt, you probably won’t get your point across.
8. Don’t get emotional
Nothing is as big of a debate-killer than becoming worked up during an argument. So ladies, don’t become irrationally emotional by starting to cry half way through an argument. Instead become irrationally emotional by yelling at your opponent like a real man.
9. Be willing to change your mind
In debates, generally both sides join in with the intention of convincing the other to accept their argument as truth. So go into an argument with a willingness to change your mind. Who knows? Maybe they will give you enough food for thought to reconsider your stance on the walkout. Or maybe they will give you enough reason to block their future posts on Facebook.
10. Have money
Like I said, debates aren’t just about proving a point. They are often attempts to change others’ minds about issues. That’s hard sometimes. You may not always have logic, facts, or respect on your side. But if you have money, you’ll definitely get your point across. Especially if you are talking politics with our lawmakers.
Follow Hayley on twitter @squirrellygeek for the best comment war.