How to Win an Argument in 11 Easy Steps

By: Hagar Ibrahim

Want to convince your parents to send you to sahel with friends? Want to convince your best friend that her crappy boyfriend isn’t right for her? Want to convince your sister to lend you her Maroon top? Your girl is gonna teach you to get whatever you want. Debate skills are skills we’re naturally born with, nurturing them is as important as obtaining them but a lot of people disregard logical debates and stick to old-fashioned screaming and swearing. Through the numerous MUN conferences I’ve attended, I’ve learnt a lot about debating. I’ll walk you through the world of debating.

1. Pros and Cons chart:

Create a T-table and label a side as “pros” and the other as “cons” and weigh the results. If the pros are more than the results, then you’ll definitely find a way to convince the person you’re arguing with. If the cons are more than the pros, is what you want even good for you? Or is it worth the argument?

2. Why?:

Try to find the reason behind why the person you’re arguing with is not convinced with your opinion. Put yourself in their shoes, and see for them. Maybe you’ll get convinced OR maybe you’ll find a way to turn the conversation around.

3. Do your research!:

People tend to like hearing bulky scientific words, they make your argument sound much more believable and credible. Use facts, statistics, anecdotes, visual evidence such as youtube videos, historical events/facts to convince the person in front of you. What will even strengthen your argument even more is quoting verses from holy books such as the Quran or the holy bible in order to appeal to the person’s religious side. For example, while arguing with my parents about parenting techniques and that it is not right to discipline me, a person born in the year 2000, like they should discipline my nephew who was born in 2015. I found a Hadith told by Omar Ibn El-Khattab that supported my argument and that’s how I helped my parents cope better with my 3 year-old nephew. (لا your force not Do: (to translates which) تجبروا أولادكم على أخلاقكم فإنهم ولدوا لزمان غیر زمانكم children to your morals, they were born for a time other than your time).

4. Is it possible?:

Ask yourself if your request is doable for the time being because you can’t just ask for what you want and receive it on the spot without bearing in mind the surrounding conditions

5. Gather up!:

Before approaching your prey, create a mental list of your collected info and begin operation DEBATE. If you suffer from instantaneous memory loss like me, use your phone’s “Notes” and take a peek every other minute!

6. Two ears, one mouth:

I know it is ANNOYING to hear BS from someone and shut up about it, but in order to strengthen your argument, you have to listen to someone till the end. Listening to someone’s argument till the end will help you pinpoint mistakes they’ve done,misleading information they’ve inserted, and of course, lies. In addition, through the changes of someone’s tones, you can find out their ulterior motives.

7. Take notes:

Take notes, mentally, of whatever the person you’re arguing with has done wrong. DO NOT INTERRUPT THEM, let them finish up what they’re saying, and then rebuttal.

8. Start off soft and slowly:

If you’re asking for something big, do not begin arguing aggressively or the person would choose to close the debate and will leave you crying your eyes out without a care in the world.

9. Watch your profanity!

(Vine reference): سیدي یا قولوا للكلب حاجة عندك لو always works in these conditions. If you begin to insult the person in front of you, the argument will become too heated and will be turned against you. Keep the sass, sarcasm and boldness aside and olo ya seedy.

10. Appeal to their emotions:

STOP SOBBING SALLY, do not cry and do not use your puppy eyes because you’ll never get what you want that way. Try to show the person in front of you that you’d die to get that certain thing NOT that you’ll die to win the argument .

11. Refer back to their point of view:

“I know that you’re afraid that so and so might happen and I understand but…”, “ I appreciate your concern but I believe that…”, “Thank you for being so thoughtful, I totally understand your perspective but on my side you can see that…..”

– You’re welcome ♡

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