‘Arguments are to be avoided: they are always vulgar and often convincing.’Oscar Wilde
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An argument can be both electrifying and exciting, but often the most satisfying ones do not descend into anger, remaining untainted by the red mist of rage. After all, the ‘aim’ of an argument should not be solely to win, but to progress the basic understanding of the issue at hand – and this is achieved more easily if everyone remains calm.
Arguing in person will always be more rewarding than bickering via text message or email – nuance and meaning can be lost in writing, which is frustrating when you’re trying to make a point.
Being the more civil person will ensure that you retain the moral high ground. You shouldn’t need to shout to make your point. You shouldn’t need to shout to make your point. Stick to arguing about facts, not the personalities of the people with whom you’re arguing.
Concede a point when you have no response to it, and if your argument is based on bias or intuition alone, have the honesty to admit it – this arms you with a reputation for being reasonable, which confers more power than just ranting. Apologise on the spot if you’ve said something you might regret later.
Underlying all the disagreement is an agreement that the other person’s opinion is valid, and that you are at least going to listen to it. It’s not worth the effort of arguing with anyone who doesn’t listen to your point of view – or simply talks over you.
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