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Mimishu1995's avatar

Is it worth winning an argument?

Asked by Mimishu1995 (14652points) April 8th, 2014

Related to this and this.

“Winning an argument” is the most stressful thing I have to deal with in most of my presentations. After each presentation in my class, there is a part called: “Discussion with your audience”. And there are some students who love to find my seemingly “flaws” and press on them, until I’m unable to explain myself. One or two particular students are very good at it. And I always end up feeling exhausted and horrible, whether I win or not.

And in my high school time, my classmates loved to argue exactly the same manner as those above-mentioned students. A typical argument started like this: A presented a point, B disagreed and poked a “confusing” question. A answered it and gave out their ideas supporting their argument. B tried to dismiss all A’s statements and poke more question (or questions?). The cycle continued until someone (usually a teacher) cried out: “OK! Everyone agrees to disagree!” My classmates considered winning an argument was an art of conversation, and inability to win an argument meant no success in life.

I’m never good at arguing. So before I found Fluther, I avoided all kinds of argument and considered myself a failure. Whenever there was a discussion and I stated a point, my point was dismissed mercilessly. I came to accept everything they said, whether I agreed or not.

Do you think it’s worth winning an argument? And inability to win an argument means total failure?

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9 Answers

rojo's avatar

Not with your wife, You can win a skirmish and lose the battle.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t need to win arguments. I’m comfortable in my own skin, if you disagree with my idea that’s fine by me. I’m not wasting my time trying to point out why I disagree with you.

rojo's avatar

Try not to get drawn into verbal brawls, answer any question pertinent to your presentation and when the questioner begins his/her rebuttal, simply turn to the audience and say “Next Question”. It works for most politicians, most of the time.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@rojo Will I be regarded as weak-minded and cowardly if I say “next question”?

jerv's avatar

I consider it a win if I can get the opposition to use actual facts and sound logic in order to counter my position; something that is depressingly rare. Much of the time, I only argue in an attempt to get people to break free of delusions and dogma. There are some issues where I know I cannot alter opinions, but I still consider it a victory if they can merely justify their position rationally. Go ahead and disagree with me, but be smart about it!

By those standards, me losing an argument means that humanity is a failure, or at least that particular human and all those of like “mind” (and I use that word loosely) are from the shallow end of the gene pool. Therefore, given a choice between winning and proving humanity is doomed, I say it’s worth winning every time.

kritiper's avatar

What I want is for my point to be acknowledged, not ignored or trivialized. That’s a win in my book. And you have to be somewhat assertive or people will see you as a wimp, a mouse, a push-over.

KNOWITALL's avatar

NO it’s not worth it to me. I don’t get off on arguing. Conversation is give & take not ultimatums or demeaning.

Brian1946's avatar

Do you think that you won this argument?

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Brian1946 not really :p and I didn’t aim on winning at that time, just showed my frustration to the OP.

And how the hell did you find it? I haven’t said a word with you about it.

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