Stop trying to win every single argument

You can spend that time and energy in more productive ways.

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Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash

Debate — you agree to take different sides on an issue, for the sake of exchanging opinions.

You’re not trying to win anything. People used to debate in order to sharpen their minds. They were fun, enlightening, and civil. You could debate with your friends about important topics like abortion, or something trivial like who would win in a fight, Jessica Jones or Black Widow.

Discussion — you put your mind together with someone else to solve a problem, or at least understand it better.

Unfortunately, we’ve abused the hell out of this term. “Mommy and daddy aren’t fighting, we’re just having a discussion.” Remember that line from your broken childhood? Or maybe, “We’re not dysfunctional. We just share different opinions.”

Argument — you didn’t plan on having a debate, and you’re kind of pissed off.

You really just wanted your spouse to refill the ink in his own damn printer, instead of asking to use yours every week.

Fight — you feel like you’re losing an argument, so you start yelling or screaming.

That doesn’t work, so you throw some shit. You get what you want by acting like a lunatic. But only briefly.

Action doesn’t need argument

Sure, I speak my mind. Normally I just state my opinions concisely, offer reasons, and then shut up and do what I think should be done. I’ve never had much patience for long, drawn-out arguments and fights.

Arguing with people gives them power

You wouldn’t believe how many new teachers get into prolonged arguments with their students. They come to me for advice on how to win. I ask them why they want to so bad.

Ignore bystander opinions

Heads up, not everyone’s going to agree with you. You don’t need everyone’s support to do your job, or make a decision about your life.

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She’s the funny one.

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