I posted a tweet on Twitter a couple of weeks ago and was surprised by a rather large number of negative responses I received. The post seemed harmless enough…it said basically that you can’t win an argument by yelling. It suggested that rather than raising your voice you should improve your argument.
I engaged one of the people who responded and said the most memorable statements are more often whispered than yelled. He replied that he wins most arguments by yelling. If yelling doesn’t work he then yells louder while threatening some form of violence. That he said, always does the trick. He said this method works with his kids especially well.
Twitter limits tweets and responses to 280 characters so I could not even begin to properly reply. There is so much wrong with that line of thinking that I’d need 10 blog posts to do it justice.
But let’s look at a couple of the problems with that thinking. First…arguing with your children? Really? The person didn’t say how old their kids were but that’s almost irrelevant. If they were very young it’s worse but arguing with your kids is just plain bad at any age.
Next, arguing with anyone is a fools errand. No one truly wins an argument. Especially by yelling.
Yelling is a sign that the “yeller” has lost control of their emotions. Threatening violence, especially against their kids, is a sign that they have lost control of their thinking. I can absolutely understand the frustration that comes from not being able to influence another person’s thinking. It can cause anyone to lose control.
Losing control most often stems from the need to win. Winning an argument for many people means forcing their opinion on someone else. But losing control is far less likely to happen if your position is built with empathy and a sincere desire to help the other person in some way.
While it’s possible to end an argument with shouts and threats it is not possible to win one that way. In fact, as the great Dale Carnegie wrote, “the only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it all together.”
That doesn’t mean rolling over and playing dead. That means making your case supported by facts and a caring heart. If the other person is having a hard time hearing or understanding then whisper instead of yell.
Remember, if somebody sees you yelling at a person because you think they are an idiot, that somebody may agree there is an idiot in the conversation but they might think the idiot is you.
They might even be right.
On a another note… Everyone can use a “nudge” towards success. I’m trying something new on Twitter. It’s called “Super Followers.” For $5 a month, that’s 17 cents a day, people can follow a part of my Twitter stream that is for subscribers only. It features short videos of me discussing leadership topics, sales tips and ideas for better overall relationships. I’m assuming there will be far fewer Super Followers than the million or so people who regularly follow me on Twitter. That will give me the opportunity to answer questions more throughly than I can on regular Twitter. Most of the answers will come in the evening cause we all have day jobs, right? Think of it as ”mentoring on demand!”
My goal with SuperFollowers is to build a better connection, one where I can help more and have a greater impact. I’m hoping it gives me a chance to mentor to a wider audience. It’s still new, we’ll see how it works. It’s a $5 dollar investment that may be the extra “push” you need to get to where you want to be. I’d be honored to be able to help get you there.
You can find more information by clicking the Super Follow button on my Twitter profile page IN THE TWITTER APP. http://twitter.com/
3 thoughts on “Threatening to End an Argument ”
I appreciate your reasoned thoughts on the subject. Someone once said, “Arguing with a fool proves there are two.”
Thanks Tom, I heard that quote too. And it is one of the truest things I’ve ever heard.