Social Question

judyprays's avatar

What should I say at this point in an argument?

Asked by judyprays (1290 points ) January 22nd, 2010

Multiple times with a friend, there comes a point in our argument process where she has made a point that is logical and not wrong. While I am still unconvinced – I am unable to argue farther. I decide her point is no farther from the truth than mine, so until more information or perspective presents itself, I can’t go further in the argument.

At this point, I say “Fair.” She finds this upsetting. I don’t know how else to express this point of view, and she doesn’t know why she finds it upsetting, aside from saying she finds it an inappropriate use of the term.

Thoughts? Help? Ideas? Insight?

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31 Answers

Likeradar's avatar

Sounds like it’s your friend’s problem, not yours.

If she has a problem with your use of the word, have you tried another version, like “that’s a good point. Let’s agree to disagree”? Also, it’s totally reasonable to tell her what you told us- “That’s a totally logical point, and I don’t have an argument for it, but it doesn’t feel right to me.”

deni's avatar

she wants to continue this argument? maybe she’s just one of those people that likes arguing. is she? if so, i then agree with @Likeradar…..sounds like her problem, not yours.

VanCityKid's avatar

There’s nothing wrong with saying what you have said.

Like everybody else, she has the problem.

marinelife's avatar

You are not convinced of her point of view, but you think she has made a logical argument, right?

I think you should say, “Well, we’ll just have to agree to disagree about this.”

SeventhSense's avatar

You can say deuce like in tennis.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

If she makes a valid argument with good data, then how does she not win the argument? If you start conceding your opponent’s points in debate, then you lose the argument. You don’t get to call it a draw.

But in a friendly and informal discussion / disagreement between friends, I don’t see any major flaws in your technique, I suppose.

utan's avatar

theirs no wrong about it. you just told her to be fair.just told her that you just want to be fair. :D

nikipedia's avatar

I completely agree with @CyanoticWasp. If she’s made a good point that you can’t argue against, she has won the argument, and the gracious thing to do at that point is to concede.

lilikoi's avatar

So how much information or perspective do you need before you concede that you are wrong?

If you think your point is still valid even though you concede that her contradictory points are logically flawless, maybe you could tell her that you think she has made some excellent points that can be debunked with further research and that you’d like to put the debate on hold while you contemplate.

You could say “You may have won the battle, but you haven’t won the war”... lol! Or how about

“Victory shall be mine!”

SeventhSense's avatar

@Fred931
Well that kind of has a different flavor..deuce is even.. but whatever

Ron_C's avatar

Hey, I do the same thing except I say o.k. My wife hates it and is likely to start another argument. I think it’s fun and you can win an argument without having to talk about it. That just adds a little spice to your life. In our house the one that’s still mad after the argument looses. (don’t tell my wife)

InspecterJones's avatar

Post it on here and let everyone else decide.

mollypop51797's avatar

I think that this word bothers her because she’s seeing it in some other way than the way you mean it. Or like most have said, it’s her problem. This has happened to me, many times (friends have said logical answers leaving me with a stupid sounding immature comeback compared to theirs). My rule of thumb, don’t say anything back. If you want, you can say what comes to your mind, but as long as it isn’t something unnecessary sounding, then say it. I hate those moments when I go home, contemplate what just happened, then say, I should’ve said that! But, in those cases, you should have, and you didn’t so there’s no reason in needing to bring it up again. Personally, I think you should just drop it, and let her get over it herself. To me, being able to let this go, put it in the past, and be more mature about it is a sign of strength, whether she realizes it or not, it’s her loss, not yours.

filmfann's avatar

You can say “Point taken.”

If she doesn’t like that, say “Pull My Finger.”

lilikoi's avatar

@filmfann lol! to the 2nd one :D

DrMC's avatar

I think pull my finger should be tried first.

All of the words for which you substituted the word “fair” are actually better than the word fair.

If you want to be more concise you could just say – OK, I can see your reasoning – it doesn’t seem like there is any more that could be added at the moment (we’re not likely to agree, there isn’t enough information at this point, why don’t we let it rest and debate it later to see if it cooks out better next time)

She is upset for a reason which she has not stated. All you have to do is fill in the blanks, and decide which part of valor to leave for discretion.

After that, comrade, you may pull the chairman’s finger.

Supacase's avatar

“That is a valid point.” Then move on.

I have a friend who readily admits she won’t stop until she has convinced the other person she is right and they are wrong. It kills her to know there is someone out there who is ignorant of the (her) truth.

Seek's avatar

I agree with @CyanoticWasp

If her point is valid and logically flawless, your only options are to 1. Concede, or 2. offer to suspend the debate until you have researched the point further.

the100thmonkey's avatar

If she has made a logical argument that leaves you unconvinced, one of two thigns is happening (possibly, both things are happening):

1. Her argument is sound given her premisses, although there may be problems with the premisses.

2. You just don’t want to admit you’re wrong.

If the problem is #1, you can continue arguing at a later date. I think your friend’s problem stems from the fact that “fair” acknowledges her point without you actually acknowledging that she’s correct, even when you’re shit out of counterpoints. It’s a bit like sticking your fingers in your ears and going “LALALALALALALALA!”

DrMC's avatar

I think it is worth putting your fingers in your ears as described above. We often did this on the northern front.

SABOTEUR's avatar

“We’ll just have to agree to disagree.”

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Tell her that you need time to consider her well-made point. It allows you space and time without hurting her feelings.

ninjacolin's avatar

@CyanoticWasp is bang on. There can only be one answer. It’s painful to debate with people who have no interest in conceding the milestones. “Fair,” the way you have been using it, is seen as a cop-out. What someone wants to know is that their opinion is better than yours unless it’s worse. If it’s worse, they want to know why.

Apparently, given her distaste for it, it is conversationally stagnant to say “fair” the way you have been. It’s like giving someone the silent treatment when they’ve made a good point. Perhaps what you mean to say is: “you’ve made a fair point, yet I remain unconvinced somehow. I’m going to have to think about it.”

just like @stranger_in_a_strange_land suggested

flo's avatar

@judyprays , I don’t find “Fair” inappropriate. , If she read your question here I think she wouldn’t find it appropriate. Ask her what term she finds appropriate.

VanCityKid's avatar

@InspecterJones – We’ll have a democratic resolution, Fluther style.

DrMC's avatar

I think the best approach is to have the opposition re-educated or assasinated

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Do the two of you need to agree to remain friends?
If not, just accept that you won’t resolve your differences on that issue.

Shuttle128's avatar

I think @the100thmonkey hit the nail on the head. Your friend sees your response as ignoring a valid point. However, if you two simply disagree on the base assumptions of your points the your arguments are incommensurable to each other. Eventually your base assumptions may shift and you may see eye to eye, but until then (if this is the case) explain that you don’t accept the core assumptions of her argument and leave it at that.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Possibly she thinks that you graded her as “Fair”?
Tell her at times like this ” you may have a point there”?
And that you need more time to ponder about it before coming to your own conclusion.
Antother expression to say is “food for thought” thanks for the imput.

SABOTEUR's avatar

…or just “man up” and concede until such time as you’re able to produce a stronger argument. What, exactly, does “fair” mean in this context other than your unwillingness to admit “she’s got you”.

If it’s that big a deal to grumble ”...maybe you’re right”, perhaps you shouldn’t be having these discussions.

To me, it’s akin to the chess player who insists on dragging the game out long past any reasonable chance of winning.

Just “tip the king”, fer crissakes.

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