173

My goal is to win these arguments if they occur or to stop them from happening entirely. Everything but losing the argument, basically. How can I do that? You need to modify your definition of "winning" an argument with your father. His goal is to get in an argument. If you can avoid that argument, then you have "won". The best way to do this is to learn ...


72

You seem to be an apple that didn't fall far from the tree. When there are two people in an argument who prefer "anything but losing the argument" this is what is going to happen. People are going to yell, get their phones, prove facts, say those don't matter, say you must have remembered wrong, and generally get upset. I know it's upsetting to have things ...


69

Always? No. There are times and places for these kinds of reactions. Do I recommend such responses? Not often. But, as I said, there is a time and place where you may need to resort to these reactions for various reasons. Let me give you an example. In school, I was a young woman who always laughed, smiled, joked things off, and discussed things without ...


68

I will get at the actual question below, but first let me start with a frame challenge: You are mad at the wrong person! You really want this to be about Lilly, but in reality the problem here is your BF. Forget about Lilly. She does not know you nor care about you, and you can't expect that she will help with this entire mess. Your boyfriend, on the other ...


60

Short answer: you can't. There is no non-smug way to say the words "I told you so". If your boyfriend is smart, he already knows. If you want to be part of the solution, you need to avoid arguing about it and likely he'll admit the error. And even if you want him to sort out his own mess, being smug about it can have the opposite effect of making the other ...


54

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It's almost always a no-win situation when two people argue or debate over something (and especially when temper has reached critical levels). What I suggest is to pretend to agree with them no matter what - but you don't have to actually believe their side. Calculate your risks, though. If this is a matter that will come back to you later, like, ...


54

I live with someone who often tells me that I'm completely wrong but if I push back and say I am in fact right, says things like "I didn't really intend anyone to take that seriously" or "it was just a throwaway comment" or "I didn't mean to start an argument." I find it intensely frustrating. And you want the other person to stop reacting to what you say ...


49

Change the question The strategy I am aware of, which usually also works very well with people you don't know much, or people you absolutely don't want to leave a bad impression with (because of dating, business, etc) is not to express your opinion first. Instead of: You: Did you hear of Hyperloop, designed by Elon Musk? Sounds promising, don't you think?...


39

I don't think you need to be concerned about this issue, which is great because I don't know of a natural way to do this. It's odd to demand that everyone be aware of views you hold just so they know what views you hold. I guess this is a frame challenge. I think that it's unlikely that Alex would think you share Bob's political views just because you were ...


33

You have done your thing. If they are not listening to you, that's it. You have no responsibility for them, and they don't even appreciate you trying to help. It's better for you to stop. If anyone wants to plug your accessories into their computer, you say "no". If you are asked why, you say "I don't feel comfortable plugging my accessories into some ...


32

Welcome to IT! Anyone who works in the field will tell you that requests from family members to fix their computers is an occupational hassle. I've known mainframe operators who get this asked of them, as well as programmers, network security admins, and other specialties who would have minimal interaction with that skill set. The important thing here, I'...


26

As someone who is/was in the bad habit of doing this I would say this type of behavior can be triggered by presenting extremist positions. If you tell a person like me The hyperloop is amazing I will gladly point out the physical difficulties which make it practically impossible. At the same time when someone would tell me The hyperloop is a useless ...


22

I would suggest two things. First of all, when their lax security measures can impact you, draw a line. Eg, refuse to let them use your devices. A simple 'sorry, I'm not comfortable lending my devices to anyone' should suffice. Repeat as needed. Second, things that don't impact you: ignore them. If your friends ask for advice, by all means help, but no one ...


21

No, but make sure you think before you speak. I think a huge factor in the appropriateness and effectiveness of such a response comes from how and when you express it. Context is key, and should shape the form of your words. Likewise, what you hope to gain by such a response is also important to think about. Because my answer is not a simple yes or no, I ...


21

Your question can be re-framed as being overcoming resistance to change. In my experience reasons include: The potential to be worse off as a result of the change Fear of the unknown Effort exceeding reward Ego - it is someone else's idea When speaking about change, you should therefore frame the conversation around the benefits the change will bring, ...


20

If you take a step back and imagine this from your new start's perspective: He doesn't know the environment He's not up to speed with the technology You won't answer questions to help him He is trying to learn from others And what he gets is you telling him to leave you alone. I can't see a threat to you - I see what looks like you being very unwelcoming ...


20

Concede that you might be wrong Even when you know you are right, state your position, but include the possibility that you are wrong, and then get back to the point you were trying to make and away from the argument. "Maybe I misread the width of my car when I checked it at the shop... Still, if my car is 4mm too wide that's kind of funny right? Can you ...


18

I am in a similar situation as yours. Both my SO and I have been working for a while and are in an age at which people are expected to start having plans of wedding and family. Though we want the marriage part, I'm not sure I want to raise biological children (I'm myself adopted and pretty sure that I'd adopt too if I want to have kids one day). My relatives ...


18

Note that, since this was a workplace situation, I didn't want to be more rude than necessary (which I feel I already was when I strongly refused to talk politics with Bob). You were a bit rude by dropping in a comment, and then refusing to discuss it further. Generally, when discussing politics, you listen to what the other person has to say, that's proper ...


17

I have a friend with whom I end up passionately discussing stuff quite often, but its usually fun and we both learn a lot. That being said, we both have developed very simple techniques to avoid having a lengthy discussion: Gracefully dropping a topic. A very real conversation we might have could go like this: You: [Something about not believing in "tells"...


16

If you don't care about debating the subject, don't want to start an argument, and are only interested in stopping your friend, then there's a pretty simple solution. Just admit you were wrong. If you know ahead of time that you don't actually care, and aren't invested, then you can block this off right when it starts. As soon as he raises his hackles and ...


15

In my opinion, starting a conversation that meant to be "i told you so" is going to cause more harm. It is not resolving the problem and yet will worsen the relationship between you and your boyfriend. Alternatively, you can talk to him in a nicer tone, with points as such : You are worried about him not getting good sleep. Convince him to let you try "my ...


15

Two things. First, to answer your question, you need only to use "they" a little more, and toss in the odd parenthetical. For example, when someone says "anyone who would vote for X is clearly just stupid, there is no other reason" you might respond: Perhaps some of them have [been laid off, seen their families persecuted, whatever] and that has left them ...


15

The real audience for anything you say is your child and your own self. These are strangers: engaging in any kind of argument with them only sends the message that teaching your child is a topic on which their input is sought. You will get that input. Anything you do with your child in public (including walking silently doing nothing) will attract ...


14

Just talk to her directly and honestly. What you've laid out in the question seems reasonable to me: You haven't been dating for very long Even for how long you've been dating, things have "moved fast" (she "basically lives with you" already, and started to do so ~2 months into the relationship) Some of your interactions make you uneasy about "officially" ...


13

Don't actually disagree (any more) and wind up that thread of conversation in favor of something else. There could two (or more) possibilities as to whether the person wants to keep talking. He may think you do not understand his point well (or well enough). If you haven't already, simply say you understand. Or take all doubt away, and summarize what he is ...


13

You seem to be conflating understanding their position and convincing them of your position. Those are not the same thing at all. The latter is much more likely to lead to arguments, but the former, if done well, can lead to thoughtful conversation without hostility. The key to understanding another person's position is to ask questions -- dispassionate ...


12

It's obvious that this situation has gone on too long (you're having a nervous breakdown because of some cats). Since you're on the verge of exasperation, I think you have the right to give him an ultimatum. It doesn't have to be aggressive; just state firmly the plain facts and your resolution to put an end to this inconvenient situation. It's been [two? ...


12

I'm thinking about this from a compassionate communication perspective. I think trying to figure out who is "right" isn't useful here. Instead, understand why she is waking you up, explain to her why you want to sleep in, and come up with a strategy together to meet both of your needs. Let's focus on your mother, since she's usually your caregiver. You're ...


12

I've been digging around online and I think I may I have found an answer to my own question... Given that the supervisor doesn't seem to take the fact that he's rolling the dice with people's lives seriously enough, I'm thinking that explaining the possible legal consequences may be helpful. Basically, it seems that the simple fact that people could get ...


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