I have never been much for fights, personally. I have never even been in a physical one, first of all, and, due to my inherent tendency to be both lazy and a people-pleaser, I almost always lose verbal ones by sort of just giving up halfway through.
But here’s the thing: no matter how strongly you may feel for or against fights in any form, sometimes they just kinda happen. Maybe you’re arguing with your mom over whether or not you can take the car out. Maybe your boyfriend just did something dumb,and you’re trying to let him know why it was dumb. Maybe–and it is possible that I am projecting on you right now–you’re just feeling petty.
Who knows! The point is that I also think it is an objectively agreed-upon fact that, if you enter an argument–you knew, fighting with your mom over whether or not you can take the car out, or your friend over something dumb they did–you might as well emerge the victor. But, you know, win the right way–no verbal low blows or swipes at low-hanging fruit, please. So, let’s get our Debate Club on! Here are some foolproof ways to win every argument you may or may not get in at some point in your life:
Carry ReceiptsAKA know the facts. It is unwise to be unprepared for anything, let alone a fight. Whether you're arguing about politics or who texted whom when they weren't supposed to, treat it like a research paper--know what's actually going on and have evidence to support it, too. Image source: iStock
Avoid Arguments That You Know You'll LoseA lot of the time, arguments are something that happen organically, which means that you don't really have time to prepare or think about it. (And, obviously, you shouldn't really *plan* to get in fights. That is, um, highly aggressive behavior.) But if you're getting into a fight, and you realize that you don't really know the facts or are probably going to get very upset very fast, don't engage in it. Disengage and come back when you've done some research or time to cool off--plus, chances are good that you might not even be upset once you actually know what's going on. Or, you'll be more upset. Either way, just know what's going on. Image source: iStock
Listen CarefullyIt's easy to forget to actually listen to the person you're arguing with when you have a fight, since you're probably thinking hard about the next thing yo're going to say. But it's important to get out of your head and hear what they have to say. This can be good for both receipt-gathering (they might expose something that you didn't know before) and listening for flaws in their argument that might help you win the overall argument. Also, you could listen to what they have to say and realize that you might not actually be as mad at them as you thought, meaing that you can end it more peacefully (though still on your own terms). Image source: iStock
Stay CalmWhatever you do, don't scream or lose your cool. If you lose your temper, you basically lose the fight, since it's so easy to undercut someone who's, like, frothing at the mouth and yelling about something that has nothing to do with the argument at hand. Just breathe in and out and remember that, with every decibel that your voice raises, the closer you are to losing the argument. Image source: iStock
Actually Try To Find a ResolutionIf you're picking a fight just to pick a fight, that's fine. Whatever. I respect that. We all do it and, while it might not be the most constructive or productive thing to do, it's not the worst thing in the world either. But if you're fighting about something that actually matters--like with your parents about being grounded for your grades right now--they'll be more likely to compromise with you if it looks like you're attempting to make a compromise too. Image source: iStock
Don't Fight Over TextIs fighting over text easier? At first glance, sure--you don't actually have to verbalize things, you can look things up while you're arguing, and you can do it all from the comfort of your bed without having to scream outside of a restaurant or something. But I've almost always found that texting fights tend to end horribly, since texting tones are so easily misinterpreted anyway and you're likely to assume that the other person in much angrier than they actually are, meaning that you'll probably get angrier. And vice versa. Plus, the fact that you don't actually have to say anything to someone's face might make you say some things that you wouldn't in person. Basically, they escalate fast, and, since text messages live forever, you really don't want the things you said in a heat of passion to be preserved for the rest of your life via screenshot, do you? No. You don't. If you feel a fight happening on text message, bow out--or, at the very least, call them or meet IRL to talk. Image source: iStock
Know When To Cut Your LossesI know that this technically isn't a tip for "winning" a fight, but it's important to note that victory for the sake of victory isn't always worth it. If you've been fighting about something you don't actually care about that much for a while, and it's something that's about to end or permanently damage a relationship, friendship, or relationship with a parent, just bow out. It might sting at the time, but you'll be the one who took the high road, which, ultimately, will make you feel better. Image source: iStock
Do you get in a lot of arguments? Do you have any good tips for winning them? Let us know in the comments!