In life, we often encounter people who are don’t agree with us. Probably we encounter more people who disagree than those who agree. Sometimes, we have to respond to their ideas effectively or share our opinions. When this happens, most of the time, we turn to arguments. But instead we should try to make our point instead.
What’s the difference? There are several. When we argue, we try to persuade other people. An argument can get quite hostile and involve attacking the other person, not just their ideas. Arguments can lead to escalation and conflict, and people also tend to shut down when they are arguing. They become less open to other viewpoints. Even strong facts are unlikely to penetrate their newly-built armor.
But then what happens if you try to make your point? You are not attacking the ideas or inciting conflict. You state your opinion clearly, which can make it persuasive, and the other person might be more willing to listen and consider what you want to say.
Here’s how you can make your point.
First, consider the central idea of what you are saying. Focus on the facts. Emotions are an important element of any message, and there might be things you feel very strongly about. However, try not to direct that emotion against the other person. You have something to say, so center the message.
If you are directly attacking the person or their views, beliefs, and emotions, it will likely spark an argument. Don’t focus on what they are saying. Instead, try to give all your attention to presenting your message in a compelling way.
The strength of your argument should not rely on the other person to look bad or the other argument to be flawed. Instead, it should rely on itself. Consider how you can put your best foot forward and achieve the goals that you want to achieve.
Sometimes, the other person is not going to change their mind, even if we give them the best argument in the world. It’s fine. You are not giving it just for their sake, but for the sake of others listening. Often, it’s to express yourself and make your position crystal clear or just to feel good about what you said.
The only thing you control is the point you make, not other people’s responses. Put all your efforts into crafting this point and making it the best you can be. It’s the best thing you can do.