July 4th 2018
“Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument” ~Desmond Tutu
Have you ever wanted to prove your point so badly that you were prepared to argue your point to death and scream it from the rooftops until everyone agreed? Well, have you ever considered the idea that it doesn’t matter how loud or hard you push your argument, it only matters how well?
When I was younger, I learned a very important lesson about arguing; “Don’t fight to prove others wrong, fight to prove yourself right.” What’s the difference, you might ask yourself? Well, you see, an argument isn’t about convincing other people they are wrong, it is being confident enough in your argument to prove yourself right.
That being said, how does one improve their argument? It is quite simple really; you believe in it. If you tell me the Earth is in the center of the Universe and I keep screaming that the Sun is and you’re a big idiot, I am just going to make myself look like a big jerk and you will be less tempted to hear me out. However, if I am confident in my argument and sit back and calmly explain the facts I have available to me, there is more room for compromise and/or understanding.
Now this doesn’t only apply to fact based arguments, but emotional ones as well. If I am fighting with my boyfriend about how he doesn’t talk to me enough, I can react in two ways; I can yell and scream and throw around ultimatums, or I can explain why, exactly, I am upset and how we can resolve the issue. I am not backing down from my argument, but I am also not escalating the argument to a level that is counter productive.
Here are just a few ways you can improve your argument, without raising your voice:
- Stay calm- I find that even the most well thought out arguments can sound very silly when screamed out and pushed upon others. By presenting your argument in a non-combative way, more people will be willing to listen.
- Know your facts- Would you find your argument credible if you heard it from the outside? Do you have any really facts or solid evidence to back up your claim? You can talk and talk into oblivion but that won’t change a thing if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Work smarter not harder.
- Be confident in yourself- I feel that people who are aggressive in arguments often are that way as a front. You shouldn’t make yourself feel confident by pushing your argument on people. Confidence should come from the knowledge that you know what you’re talking about no matter how objective or subjective the argument is.
- Know where you stand- Know what you are arguing inside and out. Make sure you fully agree with the argument you are embodying. Know your stance so you can better defend it instead of being wishy washy.
Overall, the most important thing about improving your argument is knowing that louder doesn’t equal better, and better doesn’t always mean you will always be right.
Improving your argument doesn’t always mean you’ll get people to agree with you every time, but it will mean you will get people to listen.