Whether it's with your significant other, your parents, your best friend, or an authority figure, arguments can be extraordinarily difficult to win. Logic often gets thrown out the window in favor of emotions, which can then result in a whole lot of yelling and bad feelings. But the folks over at Business Insider have created a video guide which shows some tried-and-tested techniques for how to win an argument. Not only that, but these age-old theories from ancient philosophers can be employed in a vast variety of areas — not just during arguments. How's that for an ace in the hole?
Of course, it's important to be sensitive to the nature the argument before pulling out any of the techniques suggested in the video. Not all of them will suit all situations: For example, one technique may be superior to another when fighting with your partner about something as arbitrary as whether to get one or two ply toilet paper; however, the same technique might not work so well when you're fighting with your best friend about a deeply rooted problem that has always existed in your relationship. Furthermore, while the techniques offered by the video are mostly effective, it's also important to remember that you may not alway come out on top in any argument. It doesn't always have to be a win-lose game, and there's something to be said for being wrong (or, as I like to say, less right than the other person).
So without further ado, here are a few techniques you could use to tear down your opponent and win any argument. Scroll down to watch the full video for more.
1. Get Your Opponent to Empathize With You
According to Business Insider's video, Aristotle believed in three different methods of influence — one of which was pathos. To evoke pathos is to evoke empathy and kindness from your opponent, often making them see the situation from your point of view.
Fun fact: Pathos is also an affective storytelling mechanism used to help us relate to and feel the pain of protagonists. J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins effectively use pathos to help us identify with and care for their protagonists.
2. Get Your Opponent to See Your Point of View
If you use logos, or logic, in an argument and bring cold, hard evidence to support your claim or argument, it's pretty hard to lose. Lawyers, for example, rely heavily on logos in legal writing and oral arguments.
3. Convince Your Opponent of Your Credibility
If Beyonce were to get into an argument about who runs the world and her opponent argued that the answer is not girls, she would be able to use ethos to make her pitch: She could use her qualifications as a girl who essentially does run the world to make her argument. Ethos is a way to make yourself more credible to bolster your position in the argument.
4. Use the Socratic Method
The Socratic method, which comes unsurprisingly from Socrates, uses questions to inspire your opponent to look at their own claims in another way. For example, if your significant other is angry at you for being rude to them at a party, ask, "How was I rude to you?" or "What behavior can I change to avoid this in the future?" It not only makes your opponents really think about what they're saying, but also sets the stage for some real solutions.
Arguments aren't ever really fun, but going into one with an attack plan to win might make them a little less painful. At least for you.
Watch the full video here:
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (5)