I used to hate the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. The whole concept sounded really selfish and almost a little “dirty”. Then my mom (who is the antithesis of selfish) mentioned that she had read it and that it was really packed with wisdom.
“Hmmmm … If Mom loves it, it must be quality,” I thought. So I grabbed myself a copy, and holy crap, it is packed with amazing advice.
“The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it”
That’s Principle #1 from the section “Win People to Your Way of Thinking”. Carnegie points out that as soon as you start arguing with someone, you’ve lost the fight. Have you ever been won over by someone who argues with you? I know I haven’t.
Basically, every single one of us gets defensive when we’re attacked – even if we know we’re wrong. Nine times out of ten, you’ll dig your heals in and fight back.
So if you’re trying to convince someone, the last thing you should do is argue with them.
It’s all about the Good Will
Sure, you may win an argument. But will that person have good will towards you? Probably not. They’ll probably resent the fact that you were right and that you proved it to them.
If you really want to convince somebody of something, before you start an argument, take a quick step back from the situation and try to see things from their point of view. Why do they think the way they do? Why should they switch to your point of view?