Pep talk for the arguers among us


Natalie Larimer, Online Sub-Editor

As you may have noticed, I get in arguments frequently. Whether debating the validity of the “friend zone” (watch for that article next issue of the paper), or simply trying to get my point across in government, I am always debating. Since I have incredible amounts of experience in that area, I thought I’d write down some tricks that I use to become more persuasive than I may deserve to be. (Note: none of this is endorsed by English teacher Ed Walker or anyone affiliated with the Power of Persuasion class.)

  • Keep your cool.

If you become hysterical and start screaming, you lose most credibility. It just flies out of your argument and anything you say after that transforms into an argument conducted by a first grader wanting more candy.

  • Know both sides of the story.

If you don’t know exactly what’s happening and what the other side thinks about it, don’t even bother. If you go into an argument uneducated on what other people’s perspectives are, you will be torn to pieces.

  • Go in with an open mind.

Opinions can change. Beginning a debate with an open mind has the potential to accept the opposing view and come to a consensus or allow yourself to gain some perspective on the topic. I’m not saying that you should be easily persuaded, just try not to be so steadfast that you can’t even dream of another side to the argument.

  • Understand sometimes opinions don’t change.

I said earlier that they can change, but most of the time they won’t. Arguing with somebody that will never change their mind is just going to frustrate you both. Stop throwing the ball at a brick wall and start throwing it at someone who will throw back.

  • Be professional.

Even if this is just a small debate between friends, making fun of the other person and their ideas is not the way to go. If you stoop too low, you might just drop your credibility, and that’s the one thing you’ve got to have during an argument.

I love arguments with all my being, but I also hate them when they go awry. Be responsible and argue safely.