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How is it that the people we love most transform into our worst enemies as soon as we’re on vacation?
While I love all kinds of travel, I have to say being completely off from work and spending extended quality time with my man Josh is particularly healing for my mind, body, and soul.
He’s someone I cherish and absolutely adore experiencing the world with.
About 98% of the time, we get along like gangbusters. But, like any couple, we get on each other’s nerves, too. You should have seen the fiery little exchange we had in Paris getting lost during my relentless hunt for the perfect croissant!
Conflict isn’t fun for anyone, but it’s a natural part of life. The better we get at dealing with it, the easier life becomes.
Two magical words have transformed the way we handle conflict — and they help me win almost any argument, fast.
Sound too good to be true? Let me explain.
How to “Win” Any Argument — FastSaying ‘you’re right’ doesn’t mean you’re wrong. Click To Tweet
There are plenty of tips and tricks to win an argument or be more persuasive by confusing, humiliating, or intimidating your opponent. But can you really claim victory if either of you come out of an argument feeling worse than when you started?
If you operate this way long term, getting what you want is going to lose its shine.
In this MarieTV, I share the two magical words that can help you win any argument — without losing everyone you love. Keep reading after the video for more tips to win an argument.
Is It Possible to Win an Argument?
When I say “win,” I don’t mean it in the traditional sense — where the other person admits defeat, and they give you what you want.
I mean “win” in the real sense. You and the person you have a conflict with find neutral ground. Together you find a sense of peace, resolution, and mutual respect.
Whether or not you’re proven right (or get the croissant you wanted), you both win an argument when you walk away with a stronger understanding of each other, a broader knowledge, and a deeper relationship.
Two Magical Words to Diffuse an Argument
Most of us will face conflict from time to time, whether it’s with your spouse, a loved one, or some random clown-biscuit online. We might as well get good at dealing with it.
I don’t know about you, but my natural instinct in this situation is to unleash Jersey Marie. She’s defensive as hell and ready to retaliate — and tear them a new butthole the size of the Holland Tunnel.
That may feel great in the moment. Buuut it’s not the best way to handle conflict.
Instead of trying to make the other person look like a moron just because they’ve disagreed with you, try saying two simple words:
Respond to any confrontation with these two words, and you’ll instantly disarm the other person as well as yourself. I guarantee it.
Why? Because saying “you’re right” and meaning it requires you to step into someone else’s shoes and see an argument from their perspective. You have to genuinely find a way to agree with what they’re experiencing, thinking, or feeling.
It’s hard to stay catty when you truly understand another person.
While it’s not easy to change your perspective in the heat of the moment, the faster you learn to get there, the easier your arguments will be.
Overall you’ll have less stress, less conflict, and more connection with others.
How to Share Your Side in an Argument
If we’re totally honest with ourselves, we can see that in 99% of conflicts, both sides are right from their own perspectives.
Saying “you’re right” doesn’t mean you’re wrong. Your point of view is still important and valid.
Conceding that the other person is right doesn’t mean you can’t share your thoughts, too.
Here’s how: Start by saying “you’re right.”
Then, with care…
Add your perspective with a neutral transition like:
- Another perspective to consider is this…
- Another way to look at this situation is…
- I’d love to share what I’m feeling from my point of view.
This takes some finesse and practice — but oh em gee, is it worth it!
This technique lets you acknowledge another person’s point of view and explain yours, all without discounting anyone’s experience or tearing any rear ends.
6 Tips to Keep in Mind During an Argument
Once you’ve diffused the situation with the magic words, you can have a productive and peaceful conversation. Use these six tactics to keep it from devolving back into a nasty argument.
- Keep your cool. Communication breaks down in any situation if you let your emotions take control. Especially when those emotions are anger or pain. Before you speak, take a deep breath and be mindful of the source of your feelings and the potential effects of your words.
- Use facts and logic. Resorting to insults or exaggeration is no way to get someone on your side. You can use reason to help them understand where you’re coming from. Citing facts doesn’t mean they’ll automatically agree with you, but it at least gives you a neutral basis for a conversation.
- Appeal to their values. Remember that the other person might not share your worldview, so explaining yourself as if they see the world exactly like you will be useless. Know what matters to them, and share your ideas through that lens to help them understand.
- Ask questions. When you believe someone is wrong, ask questions instead of making assertions. You’re not necessarily trying to be sneaky and poke holes in their argument. You’re asking questions to genuinely understand what they believe. You’ll certainly learn something, and you’ll let them be heard — which is usually what motivates people to argue in the first place.
- Listen and concede good points. Winning an argument is not about talking the most. Like any good communication, it’s way more about listening than speaking. Hear what the other person has to say, and be willing to budge on your position when they teach you something you hadn’t considered before.
- Aim for resolution, not victory. No one wins an argument if only one person walks away victorious. It’s not a good feeling in the end. Aim for a true resolution to a conflict through honest and respectful communication, so you can both grow as a result.
The caveat for all of this is that you have to have mutual respect for the person you’re arguing with. If you can’t agree that a shared understanding is the best solution, no tricks will help you win the argument.
And when it comes to that anonymous asshat online or grumpy coworker who’s just looking for a fight, arguing isn’t worth it. You’ve got better places to put your energy.
Strengthen Your Argument Skills
Now that we’ve established that ‘winning’ an argument is about finding mutual respect and understanding, it’s time to practice this skill.
Grab a friend and try saying these magical words to each other. Don’t worry about being in an argument for now. Just take turns looking at each other and saying, “You’re right.” Notice how it feels. You might feel:
Wouldn’t that make you feel less defensive and more open to communicating with someone? If you’re good at this kind of arguing, you’ll come out of conflicts with a stronger relationship than you had before.
You don’t have to outsmart or humiliate the other person to claim victory.
Concede that they’re right about something, logically share your perspective and engage in a healthy, productive conversation.
Apply this tactic in your next argument, and you’ll be amazed at the outcome.