How to win an argument with someone who is always right
As society and people are growing more in knowledge, status and the quality of life, some people tend to think they know more than others. There are two kinds of people: people who want to learn and people who think have learned enough already. It can be frustrating to deal with people who think they know it all and can never be wrong. These people think they have a reputation to maintain—the reputation for being always right. A person’s constant need of being right is basically masking the fear that if they are wrong others won’t like them. It can be frustrating to enter into an argument with these people. And they find ways to argue over nothing. The following are some tips on how to win an argument with people who think they are always right:
Pick your own battles
It’s not important to fight every battle and not every battle is to be won. Pick the battles you think are important to fight for. If your argument is useless and hopeless, you are just beating about the bush and only trying to do the same thing your opponent is doing i.e. to show that you are always right. If you think the topic is useless, skip the argument and concentrate on your own important things. Do not waste your energy on useless battles. Instead, focus on things that may affect your day to day life. Walk away from the argument because winning this one might not be worth all the strife and struggle. Take your energy out of a losing battle and conserve it for another that you can most possibly win for a good cause. After all, what gain is it to argue with someone who fails to see the legitimacy of the opinions of others.
Stay strong and calm
Staying calm depends on the nature of the surroundings, the environment, and the flexibility of your own self. With the growing economy, people have been working under stress. This had led them to be more firm. However, it is important to maintain a healthy and a good attitude at all times. It is important that you maintain your self-confidence at all times especially while a discourse with such people. This is to project your persona as important and serious enough to be heard.
Amy Cuddy, a Harvard psychology professor has indicated that positioning our bodies to occupy more space can elevate our testosterone levels and lower cortisol levels, a combination that raises self-confidence. This clearly depicts that one must take notice of his/her body position and nonverbal communication while communicating with people. You can do this by simple actions such as sitting up straight in your chair, which will help you feel that you are in command.
Those who believe they are always right often pride themselves on being extremely rational. Be firm and do not get angry or desperate. A clear vision and mind will always get you ahead all times. Laura Markham, a clinical psychologist, recommends remembering something that makes you feel, calm and secure. This visualization technique will instantly help you go stress-free. She recommends going to your help place every time you are under stress. Always stand tall and keep your head high. Dominance in behavior and the attitude of your rival comes to him naturally from his position of fear and complexes. If you are doing the best you can do, then do not just give your rival the gratification of pushing you around. Always keep your head high, stand tall and never cower.
Present facts rather than your own opinions
Your rival will always want to break down your argument first and then your confidence. Your opponent will try to counter any opinion you present. Always use statements that you can back with facts or your first-hand experience. Be defensive while your opponent tries to be offensive. During conflicts, opinions lack the power to counter facts present by the other. Make it difficult for your opponent to break your well-structured defense. Try to use facts that are legitimate and accurate and are indisputable. You can also ask for facts from your opponent and counter their opinions. Present some strong data that backs your concise conversation i.e. do not present justifications, present facts.
Avoid being sarcastic in your conversation
Widely, sarcasm is considered as the lowest forms of humor used to insult someone in a lighter tone. Sarcasm won’t often strengthen your case. It may rather spoil it. Such phrases can only make your argument worse. So try to be more straightforward in your conversation with a person who thinks he is “Mr. Right”. Sarcasm will never win an argument.
Assess your relationship and know if it’s worth it:
Primarily, you should look for the reasons of conflict and difficulty with your opponent by considering the factors affecting the situation i.e. nature of the environment, your attitude towards the subject, identifying the motivations of your opponent and the areas of his concerns. We can call this practice an assessment of the situation. Before you enter into an argument, make sure you really are dealing with a worthy subject. Determine if it is you who needs to back out or him. Leave the argument if you do not have the valid facts to back your stance. You should be farsighted enough to make truthful and fruitful efforts to work out the argument with your opponent. Therefore, assess and discover the reasons for hitches, narrowness or difficulties to resolve the argument to a win-lose situation.
Be calm yet offensive during the middle of the argument
Your calm attitude can lead your opponent to offensive towards you. You should overcome this issue to deal with your difficult opponent by constantly preparing your mind to conceive “How to win an argument with a Mr. Right?” You can achieve this by showing him your dedication to the subject and your organic knowledge of it. While dealing with your difficult opponent, keep in mind not to let your emotions get out of hand.
Understand your opponent’s perspective and consider the alternatives
Another approach is to put yourself in your opponents’ shoes and try to understand his perception and perspective. Always keep your difficult opponent under observation for his behavior/attitude towards you and your stance and try to find out what triggers him. Sometimes it is important to see things as he sees them to counter him. Further, avoid triggering him, stopping an argument before it can start.
Work around his weaknesses
Another way to deal with such a person is to work on his weakness, striking his weak spots. You should work on your own defenses proactively, as well. Effective communication is the best way to handle any sort of unfavorable situation. You should try to build an effective communication system between you and your opponent, which can act as a liaison. For effective communication, you should have the ability to address your concerns with your rival in ways that ends it in a win-win situation.
Say the right things at the right time
Wise people always react after considering the facts, consequences of the situation and securing their position. When dealing with a difficult rival, you should analyze your situation and consider the consequences of your debate. When you think that your position is secure and you are competent enough to respond positively to the behavior of your rival, enter into the debate by saying the right things at the right time.
Be responsible and be a leader
Sometimes, difficulty in an argument with a person who thinks he is right arises due to his incompetence. When dealing with an incompetent rival, behave and act as a leader. Observe the areas of incompetency of your rival, and take the lead on your own by relaxing and helping your rival in tackling the situations that arise in those areas. This will allow your rival to think that you are responsible and dedicated towards your stance and you are considerate towards your rival, which is a favorable sign for ending the conversation constructively.
Admit that you cannot change your rival
If the nature of your rival is aggressive that means he is difficult to handle, admit it that this is his inner characteristic, and he is difficult for everyone, not just for you. If you are facing such issue, admit that it is not possible to change his nature and end the discourse with your stance.
By analyzing and assessing the situation, you can effectively deal with the person who draws you into an argument. You have the tools and the ability to win an argument with someone who always has to be right. Find a way to make every argument a win-win when that is possible.
Asma Niaz is an Academic writer at Zoe Talent Solutions who loves to write on various educational topics, programs, training, and courses. Zoetalentsolutions is a premium teaching division, which offers highly professional personal development courses to help you excel at your workplace.