Winning an Argument Still Means Losing the Person
Do you want to completely ‘lose the person’ or just ‘lose to the person’?
I looked forward to a scope of argument every day. That became my core goal.
I used to hate to-do lists otherwise the items on my to-do list would be only one, on every line of the list: Argue today.
This is what used to be my thought process once I woke up: Argue today. When I finished an argument with one person, my mind speaks up: “Get up, argue once more.” Again, once I’m done, “Argue once again.” The fourth time it does, it challenges my strength so much I never stop: “Dude, you stopped so early?”
I could probably be a Guinness World Records holder at winning the most arguments. That made me proud and motivated me to keep arguing.
After a mentor shared me something that hit my heart’s twenty-fifth layer’s nerve endings so hard, it still hurts (ouch!), I realized what I lost by winning the agreements. I lost thrice of what I won by winning.
I lost an argument with a dude. I went to my mentor and was complaining to him. He replied to me with:
“Everyone is different …and, everyone thinks differently. That makes the world an interesting place. Most of the cases, nobody is wrong — it’s just a different perspective and you have to make a decision.”
The argument doesn’t make you special.
Most of the time we argue because we fear our knowledge — we make it visible that we suck.
We need validation that we are right and to prove it, we can go any extreme. Everyone can argue but not everyone can interact.
Arguing is just an exchange of messages mostly without proper logic and thinking that doesn’t bring any changes at the end of the day. Interaction is an exchange of messages after some thoughts and understanding which brings a solution or new learning.
The argument is to shut someone up so you can speak. Interaction is to listen, then speak.
The argument is the tug of war. Both pull the role towards each other. Only one of the sides win. The other side loses. Interaction is hide-and-seek. Both sides win. Those who hide, find a new way to hide to not get caught. Those who seek, explore new places to find the ones hiding. The person hiding forces the seeker to explore more sides. The person seeking forces the hider to explore more sides. It’s a win-win for both.
You argue and you lose the person, even if you win.
What’s worse is most of the time you don’t even know it. When you win an argument with someone and celebrate with champagne and secretly make fun of them sitting in your bathtub, they have already started hating you but pretend they’re still cool. This happened to me recently — with six people at the same time. Those were the people I won an argument with at least once. And yeah, it doesn’t feel great when it happens.
You can’t truly win an argument. If you lose the argument, you are a loser already. If you win the argument, you lose the person. You become a loser anyway. The argument just isn’t worth it.
And, you can’t ever change anyone with argument. Human nature is not complex but interesting. Logic can’t do anything to us. At the end of the day, we are motivated by us. What we feel like, we do.
We don’t want to hear what is right but what we feel right. In other words: we don’t want to hear what is been said, but we want to hear what we want to hear.
Take wisdom for example. Earlier there was no internet. The book distribution system was worse. Knowledge amplifiers were less. But now, in the digital age, we have so much information that we can’t consume, let alone retain it in the amount of time we have. And yes, even though the information is available for free, we are motivated by our feelings (we feel like watching entertainment videos on YouTube every day; we don’t feel like consuming the boring knowledge), not logical thoughts/points of argument: “Nowadays information is available for free, why don’t you just consume it and easily become smart?”
Let’s take another example. The moment you see a stranger, you already form a positive or negative impression about him/her just by looking at the outfit they wear. This happens in the subconscious. Anybody can wear any kind of outfits and even though we logically understand we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we do it anyway — because that’s our human nature.
Takeaway: You can’t argue with someone to change the way they think. When you try to, you’ll lose. Even though you might win, you don’t succeed at changing them —plus, now they hate you — ultimately, you’re a loser.
It gets worse: you’re deprived of learning.
We all get into an argument but nobody wants to lose it just because we’ll lose our respect. In a quest for winning, we go to every extreme: give the best reasons, facts, statistics and data to try to win the argument, while also hoping the more statistics you give, the better they will understand.
The other person also wants to win the argument so rather than learning the truth or understanding why the opposite person’s reasons are valid, we find better reasons and facts to win the argument.
When you win the argument, you lose the person. Along with that, you’re deprived of new knowledge and learnings from him/her. It’s just the perspective is different but you could learn a lot from others.
You lose scope of teaching them (and benefitting mankind).
When an argument happens, solutions runs away.
When interaction happens, solutions and exciting knowledge break the door to get in.
Trying to win the argument doesn’t only make the other person hate you, it also deprives you of future learnings from him and you deprive him of wisdom that could even benefit mankind.
Anything could happen we never know, because kindness is contagious: rather than argue, you listen to the other person and share your opinions. You didn’t argue — you were kind. That made his day awesome. He’s happy. He never shouts anyone today. The driver is surprised why he isn’t shouting him yet. The driver is happy. Today he’ll drive happily. He won’t purposefully try to get someone hit the car to shout at him and transmit all his frustrations into him. This positive cycle continues. Kindness is activated, everywhere. Apart from that, rather than arguing with someone else, that guy too might just share his opinions to someone, which might ultimately make him better and this is the way knowledge expands, amplifies and does wonders in this world.
A better way to approach an argument.
The only way to win an argument is to never get into one. The argument is riskier than choosing a life partner.
Sharing and exchanging opinions after some good thoughts and understanding whatever the other person says and trying to change the other person for better rather than to just win the argument for keeping up with the respect is the way to go.
Interact, don’t argue.
When done right, just interactions can change the world.
This is a fun way to take away.
I started an initiative on Medium where I thought of amplifying ideas in just one minute because one minute matters the most in deadly times like attempting a suicide, hard times like a having a breakup, embarrassing times like getting bullied. I proudly named it 1 Minute Miracle.
Take this miracle:
“To argue is to put smashed cockroaches in your friend’s toothpaste that you too use.”
What’s the fun part? With this website, you can edit the bolded parts of the takeaway and use whatever words help you remember it and get an image which you can download to store and access it whenever you need it. Grasp the concepts in the way you want to grasp it.
Here are two examples to get you started:
- “To argue is to put rat’s urine in your girlfriend’s deodorant that you too use.”
- “To argue is to put a dangerous malware in your best friend’s computer that you too use.”
“This is fun,” remarked my grandma.
She is bold. She grasped away with:
“To argue is to bring a tiger in your teacher’s home that you too live in.”