Travel, Food, and Slices of Life

Learning to Argue


From Merriam-Webster


intransitive verb

1:  to give reasons for or against something :  reason <argue for a new policy>

2:  to contend or disagree in words :  dispute <argue about money>

transitive verb

1:  to give evidence of :  indicate <the facts argue his innocence>

2:  to consider the pros and cons of :  discuss <argue an issue>

3:  to prove or try to prove by giving reasons :  maintain<asking for a chance to argue his case>

4:  to persuade by giving reasons :  induce <couldn’t argue her out ofargue

Perhaps I am not the only one to notice that the last few years people are very angry when encountering an opinion that is different from what they hold dear.  The most common response seems to resort to name calling and using words that only inflame the situation.  The second most common response seems to be retreat, like “unfriending” someone on Facebook merely because their viewpoint on one aspect of life is not aligned with your own.

Way back in the dark ages, when I was in 8th grade, my English teacher had us prepare a series of speeches. The primary purpose was to help us get more comfortable talking in front of a group of people, but the different assignments had other goals as well.

I don’t remember all the issues we had to address. One was to present a travelogue and I was lucky. My family had been taking vacations around the United States since I was 3 years old and I had a lot of slides to pull to compile a  speech that showed some highlights around the country. My dad let me keep the collection and it is fun to see some of the people and places that made an impression on me.Miss Rivera

The most important speech, however, was “Persuasive Argument”. Most of us presented points we wish we could make to our parents about letting us do something they had already disallowed. Age appropriate, of course.550px-Persuade-Your-Parents-to-Let-You-Wear-Makeup-Step-4

But all of us can learn to “sell” our viewpoints if we wish someone to hear us. When I became a real estate salesperson I was trained by my broker to learn to accept the “no” because we will hear many no’s before we have a “yes.”

I got better training when working for a financial adviser. There it was called “overcoming objections.” For that to work you HAVE to listen, let them talk, while keeping careful notes of what their issues are. Then, point by point, address each one, calmly and rationally, until they agree. Then the next. Then the next. As you gain the small yes to each point, you end up persuading them to your side of the view.

From Merriam Webster


1:  to move by argument, entreaty, or expostulation to a belief, position, or course of action

2:  to plead with :  urgepersuasive-writing-techniques


Author: GoingPlaces Can-Do Zero Waste

I moved to McMinnville a few years ago and was impressed with its friendliness and the beauty of the surrounding countryside. I write several blogs. GoingPlacesLivingLife is my personal blog related to travel, food and just general thoughts. Can-Do Real Food tells about my business processing local produce from small farms and preserving it by canning and dehydrating. The concept of Zero Waste appeals to me because we can truly reduce what gets tossed into the landfill with very small changes in our lifestyle. Join us.

6 thoughts on “Learning to Argue

  1. Beth, don’t tell me that the tall, geeky kid with the white glasses is my lovely wife Susan…I can’t wait for her to get home to show her!

  2. Great points Beth! I too have noticed that people are angry most of the time, especially politically. If I “unfriended everyone with different views, I wouldn’t have many friends at all. 🙂

    • A long term friend unfriended me when I suggested she check what she was supporting on ProCon.org or FactChect.com. She thought I was being rude. But she friended me again a couple of weeks later. I was being me then, too, having sent her a prayer quilt for her daughter who was going thru some issues. Same person….oh well

  3. Think it’s something in the water that’s made us withdraw to our enclaves of folks who agree with us. Seems we need to find our way back to talking to each other again.

    • I read somewhere that it could be an effect of GMOs that inhibits the serotonin uptake…in other words, if it is true, the more junk food people eat (things with high fructose corn syrup, for example) the less calm they feel. Regardless, whether it is because of the choice of diet or just poor self control, many people don’t seem to be able to control their anger.

Tell Me What You Think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s