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jca's avatar

When arguing a point via email: At what point do you decide to argue no more?

Asked by jca (26864 points ) October 24th, 2012

When arguing over a point via email, at what point do you (you, personally) decide that the argument should end? Do you argue till the dead horse is beaten? Do you end when a few hours or days has elapsed? Do you end when the other person does not seem to get your point? Do you end when you’re tired out? Do you end when you’re mad to where it’s no longer productive for you to continue?

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13 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It depends on 1) who I’m arguing with and whether there is a chance of making them see my point and 2) what I am arguing about.

zenvelo's avatar

I stop responding after the other side repeats its argument. I’ll say “we disagree on this, and neither of us is willing to change.” That’s similar to the points made above, other than the time period. I rarely will repeat myself in an argument, except maybe one “as I stated above”.

The time period depends on the frequency of replies. If I get a reply once a day, it may continue for days. If i see a reply every five minutes, the argument will be over in half a day at most.

snowberry's avatar

In general I refuse to argue, but when I find myself trapped in a “discussion”, this is my plan. I cut things off when:

They start taking my comments out of context.
Their reply is 10 times longer than my last response to them.
The discussion deteriorates into name calling and drama, personal attacks, and so on.
I find myself making the same point(s) time after time.
If they react (emotional, knee jerk) instead of responding (thoughtful and kind). There is a huge difference. Such discussions can’t last long under these parameters.

snowberry's avatar

^^Also why I have stopped responding to many questions here on Fluther. LOL

Shippy's avatar

It’s a great question. Because in the old days letter writing wasn’t too great an approach for arguing. Since, I would have cooled off by then. So instead there were verbal fights. Which were better, because most people would then relay the story and say, I think she said this or that, I’m not sure. So all your mouthing off wasn’t recorded

I generally state my point, and then leave it. I have recently lost my email due to a crash, and it can stay that way. I am not interested in emails anymore.

wundayatta's avatar

I do not waste precious energy arguing via email. I might argue a little on a fluther question, or in person at a cocktail party. I might seriously argue at work over a substantive issue, or in another forum where we are actually trying to discuss important policy issues. But mostly I state my case, and make one rebuttal and am done. Life is too short for anything more than that.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I give it one round after the first statement in case something was misunderstood. After that I stop. I figure “Only a fool argues with a fool.” and will gladly let the other person repeat their stance and/or have the last word.

If it is work or safety related I will try an extra time but after that, it’s the other person’s responsibility. I don’t even bother with agreeing to disagree. The case is closed.

Sunny2's avatar

I don’t argue. I just say, “I don’t agree with you” and let it go. If prodded further, I say. “I’m not willing to argue about it.” I know, that’s no fun for an arguer, but they can find someone else who will argue.

gailcalled's avatar

If asked for an opinion, I would venture one response only.

janbb's avatar

I can’t remember ever having an argument via e-mail, although I did have some pretty intense chats with one friend.

Coloma's avatar

Some people just have to get in the last word. I let them 99% of the time.
Email or otherwise I quit responding whenever someone strays from logic to irrationality and hysteria. Goes the kitchen sink route and starts bringing up all sorts of unrelated bullshit aimed to confuse the issue at hand.

I have to, otherwise I would most likely say things I really regret. I have no problem with differing opinions, I DO have tremendous problems with overly emotional, hysterical and illogical “reasoning.”
If a disagreement starts to go down the crazy path of non-sense, I beat a hasty retreat.
Many women use this tactic and it drives me insane as a rational female that can’t STAND hysterical women.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I generally will argue until I tire of the conversation or it gets unproductive or I get angry. I don’t feel that there’s any subject adults shouldn’t be able to discuss rationally, so of course I’m often surprised at the idiocy. lol

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think I’ve ever had an argument by email, so I’ll substitute Facebook, instead. Once I know that my points are understood (whether or not they are agreed with) and that I’ve understood their points (whether I’ve agreed with them or not), I’ll go the ‘agree to disagree’ route most often. How long it takes to get to that point varies, but it’s never very long. Once, I ended an argument by unfriending.

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