It’s no secret that Loose Women can get a little heated from time to time! It’s no surprise really, with the presenters sharing differing viewpoints on the range of topical debates that come up. But what do you do if you find yourself in the middle of a debate yourself, adamant that your stance is correct? Take a look at our guide to winnings arguments about everything from house work to politics.
Make sure you know what you’re talking about
Entering into an argument about a subject you only have a passing knowledge of is a recipe for disaster. No matter how passionate you are about your viewpoint, if you can’t explain why you adopt that stance and provide support for your points, your argument will crumble. Bluffing will only get you so far, so make sure you are knowledgeable about your subject and can refute your challenger’s argument with a bombardment of cold, hard facts.
Remember your manners
If you are passionate about your subject then it can be difficult not to let that passion give too much fire to your rebuttal. However difficult it may be though, stay polite and let the other person have their say. Refrain from interrupting or saying something hurtful, and you will earn a lot of respect in return.
Utilise the flaws in your opponent’s argument
The flaws in another person’s argument can be great ammunition. Don’t be afraid to pull them up on weak points or misinformation, and use them – where possible – as support for your own points.
Ask the right questions
Asking your challenger the right questions is a great way of staying in control of an argument. Ask them things that lead nicely into an area where you can make your next point, and encourage them to elaborate on woolly claims with ‘why’ and ‘how’-based questions. This will keep the argument more in your favour, and help you steer clear of getting out of your depth or straying into unfamiliar territory.
Use your powers of perception
Winning arguments is just as much about watching and listening as it is about talking. Pay attention to the other person’s body language – if they look shifty, unsure or panicky, now is the time to exploit their weak position with a great counter argument. As well as looking out for bodily cues, listen very carefully to what they are saying. By sticking rigidly to the script in your head you leave no room for improvisation, which will be necessary if the argument starts to move in a different direction or you are faced with an unexpected question.
Keep your cool
Any of the Loose Women will tell you that keeping your cool is essential during a debate. Think of it like a poker face – if you lose your temper and get flustered, even if your argument is grounded in fact and logic, you will start to flounder and lose control of your plan. Acting reactively and aggressively will only inflame the situation unnecessarily, and paint you as the less mature party.
Use emotive language
You might remember this tip from English lessons at school. Well, it still stands, which is why emotive language is a key tool in the arsenal of everyone, from politicians to advertisers. Let your passion do the talking, and don’t be afraid to give your argument some colour by drawing on high emotions. For example, rather than simply saying “The X Factor contestant was good,” try saying that “The X Factor contestant sang beautifully.” Just don’t go over the top with flowery language; you will only end up looking like you are trying too hard.
Get into a debate rather than a full blown argument
It’s often said that when an argument starts, persuasion stops, a viewpoint supported by expert researchers like American psychologist, Drew Westen. During the election campaign of 2004 he gathered together supports of both candidates, before taking MRI scans of their brains as they watched video footage of their preferred candidate contradicting their worldview. His findings? When this happened, the parts of the brain responsible for reason and logic went dormant, while the parts that handle the fight or flight response lit up. This just goes to show how influential a highly charged environment can be on our sense of reason, and how essential it is to keep your argument as more of a debate rather than a full-blown fight.
While these tips for how to win arguments will go some way in arming you with the skills to debate like one of the Loose Women, it’s crucial to remember to be graceful in defeat, too. You can’t always win, so rather than try to fight a losing battle or even argue a point you’ve come to realise may not be right after all, bow out respectfully and concede your challenger’s opinion.
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