- Step 1: Understand people who like to argue Understand that argumentative people, especially if they tend to become aggressive, have a deep-rooted personal problem. They like to argue, and they like to win – period.
- TIP: Unlike people who enjoy the mental exercise of debate, argumentative people argue because of the sense of power and control it gives them.
- Step 2: Be aware and engage defusing techniques Recognize that the person who started to argue with you may be this kind of person. Begin to employ defusing techniques.
- Step 3: Don't engage in an argument with them Don't get drawn into an argument or, if already drawn in, try to win it. You won't – at least not without causing the argument to escalate and possibly turn nasty.
- TIP: Never let an argument become personal by using words that attack the person, and never say, "You are wrong."
- Step 4: Listen to them Listen to what the person has to say and don't cut them off, which will only anger them.
- Step 5: Show that you are listening and respect their view Use words that show you respect their views and repeat their main points to show that you are listening.
- TIP: Some positive phrases to use are "I believe what you are saying is…," "I understand," and "Thanks for letting me know your opinion."
- Step 6: Use self-control and stay focused on the issues Use self-control and stay focused on the issues being discussed. Don't let the person turn the discussion back into a no-win argument.
- Step 7: Walk away If this person is determined to argue, say something neutral, like, "I'll have to give this more thought," and walk away.
- FACT: Did you know? Researchers have tied participating in high school debate teams with increased literacy and higher grades.
You Will Need
- Defusing techniques
- A willingness to walk away