At times winning a good argument can really make your day. I found myself making no progress with my local loan officer. Maybe it wasn’t his fault and maybe he was just protecting his job, but when my business was being threatened, I felt betrayed. Where was the kid who put together a creative set of spreadsheets to get me my original loan. Boy, that was exhilarating. But that kid (the same one in front of me) was nowhere to be found. I got the message. His hands were tied he said.
Needless to say, it was a crappy day and I emerged from the bank just at sunset. I didn’t really feel like heading back to devise the next day’s Daily Special, usually the highpoint of my evening. I ended up down the street at Wes’s. He was busy with an unruly crowd that night. People were shouting their orders over the hubbub, throwing popcorn and doing poppers. I sat at a corner stool near the bathroom longing for a volume control knob on the place.
“Hey,” a stoolmate said as I got my beer.
I looked up.
“This country is coming apart at the seams. The End of Days.” He looked around then did a shooter of Tequila. He had one more that he eyes. “Yep, end of days.”
I suddenly found myself looking around for another stool, but there was nothing to be had. So, I figured it was a good time to win an argument. I say this because I did not really care about the subject per say. This is not recommended. It is always best to care about the outcome. But, some days, you just want a win.
You find yourself in the midst of an argument without ammunition. This could be the result of having a professed expert on a topic droning on about the benefits of colonics, for example. Or that you find yourself taking a stand that you are finding more difficult to defend. When a gauntlet is thrown down, you must respond. But how?
If you are in need of facts or expert opinion to support an argument, use your device. It’s an easy segue and you can settle many an argument with a simple search.
To use your device in support of a position in an argument, keep in mind that your opponent may not want this to happen. He (or she for that matter) may devise some rule that disallows the use of outside equipment. Use the following steps:
1. As early in an argument as you can, introduce your advice. You may want to dispense with the admission of little knowledge in this circumstance. Instead, set some ground rules. For example,
- “I think that discussions about this topic should really be informed by experts in the field.”
- “There are a lot of facts that will support my position.”
- “Not to contradict what you are saying, but it’s best to see this issue from a more informed vantage point.”
These statements set the stage for you to introduce your device into the argument. You may run into objections, but simply brush them off. After all, the device is yours and you can use it any time. Be courteous, however.
2. Set your mobile device on the table in plain view.
3. When a discussion point needs a rebuttal, key in the specific fact or topic that needs to be presented. If your opponent is making a point, find examples where his thesis does not hold. (This of course takes some quick responses.)
4. If you need more time, fill in the discussion with a summary of the points thus far, or go off on a tangent until you are able to sufficiently read and digest the material that arrives on your device.
5. Cite the facts or expert opinion verbatim. Hold your device up and read the exact language from the device (if it is applicable). This can make the point emphatically.
6. Quickly end the argument on a high note. For example,
- “Of course, this doesn’t necessarily settle the argument, but it is a long stretch to see things your way.”
- “We could go on arguing about this ad nauseum. But you have to admit, there is plenty of facts to support quite the opposite of what you are saying.”
The key with any argument is to steate the facts or export opinon, them sum up and walk away from the argument.