The Best Way To Win An Argument

Arguments often degenerate into a poorly run debate in which each side sees their goal as trumping the other person’s previous claim.

My mother used to say, “You can never talk a person out of their politics” and was she ever right.

In fact, we may not be able to convince anybody that our position is the right one on many other things.

So, change strategies.

The best way to get someone to listen to our point of view is to acknowledge right up front that we heard something they said that opposes what we believe.

Most people argue to be heard so if we can somehow communicate, “message received” they are more likely to hear us.

Arguments can turn into shouting matches, insults and hard feelings so the goal is to make sure the other person is heard before we speak.

And to be realistic.

You don’t have to “win” an argument; you just have to make your case because if you become the “winner” somebody has to lose.

The best way to win an argument is to avoid it.

The best way to communicate your feelings, thoughts or ideas is to acknowledge the other person’s comments first.

“No one can persuade another to change.  Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.  We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or emotional appeal” – Marilyn Ferguson

Subscribe to This Feed – Free Updates by Email

+ Comment on this post

How to be Persuasive

Researchers from Washington State University analyzed a billion tweets during American sporting events including the 2013 Super Bowl and discovered that being confident makes you more popular than being right.

What’s worse is that the louder or more confident the tweets sounded, the more trustworthy and popular they were.

I know this is Twitter, but Twitter imitates life these days.

In life, the loud, confident person looks like they know what they are talking about even if they are all wet.

So the question is:  should we act more confident and speak in louder tones to make people believe us and like us?

First, a thought.

What if we were louder, sounded more confident AND knew what we were talking about?

And that’s the secret to being a persuasive person.

All style and no substance is a dead end.

Before trying to persuade another, make sure you have a legitimate argument that can be substantiated.

“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful” – Edward R. Murrow

Subscribe to This Feed – Free Updates by Email

+ Comment on this post

Surmounting Great Personal Loss

A family member or dear friend cannot be replaced, but in healing we learn how to accept their death and find a new place for them in our lives as we move on.

But death isn’t the only great personal loss.

The loss of a job or career can be catastrophic.  Those who successfully move beyond career crises rebuild their lives not just searching for a new job.

The loss of youth must be dealt with by everyone and not just the elderly.  A 40-year-old is not a 21-year-old and those who navigate through aging in a healthy way do it by looking forward to the future not being stuck in the past.

The loss of a marriage or a meaningful relationship calls upon us to first heal and then learn from what may have gone wrong so that we can become better mates and partners.

The secret to overcoming great personal loss is not the obvious replacement of what was lost with something else.

Some things just can’t be replaced.

We surmount great personal loss when we add some great personal gain. 

Nothing is sadder than a person who fails to create situations in which they gain new experiences, opportunities and friends.

Loss must be offset by gains.

“Death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live” – Norman Cousins

Subscribe to This Feed – Free Updates by Email

+ Comment on this post

The Benefits of Being Fired

I heard Claude Julien, the Boston Bruins hockey coach who won a Stanley Cup a few years ago and has led his team to the finals again this year, say he has had his present job for six years and has been fired 5 times. 

It goes with the territory.

Julien is right. 

We no longer live in an era where we can expect to work for one to three companies in our entire career.  Millennials are lucky to find a good job and Baby Boomers have worked for as many as three times the number of employers than their parents worked for.

What’s noteworthy about Julien’s comments is that getting fired is now an accretive part of pursuing your career ambitions.

But we have to change the stigma that surrounds it.

I was once fired for increasing a major market radio station’s ratings from 400,000 listeners to 1.1 million.  That’s right, fired for succeeding.  And that happens a lot today because decisions on firings are made by venture capital owners and market leaders and by the companies who follow their lead.

By the way, the guy who fired me murdered his wife and killed himself for allegedly stealing from the boss.  No consolation but it shows you that the decision maker doesn’t always think straight.

So, time for a change of attitude.

Getting fired today is not all that personal an affront.  It’s often an opportunity.

Do not waste time wallowing in the hurt and self-pity that can be generated by losing your job and refocus on the wonderful opportunity to move on and succeed another day.

“You’re fired!  No other words can so easily and succinctly reduce a confidence, self-assured executive to an insecure, groveling shred of his former self” – Frank Louchheim

Subscribe to This Feed – Free Updates by Email

+ Comment on this post
  • John Tyler has said for many years…”you ain’t shit, til  you’ve been fired
    Bob Bruton

The Happy Pill

We have pills for just about every condition and malady that human’s can think of and yet we don’t have a true happy pill.

As doctors will readily tell you, when drug companies test antidepressants to win FDA approval, the results almost always show that a placebo (an inert pill or what we call a sugar pill) turns out to be just as effective as these powerful and expensive drugs.

It turns out the mind is the most potent medication of all.

So, here are a few “happy pills” which have only one side effect – addiction to them:

  1. Viktor Frankl survived years of incarceration during World War II and lost his new bride to death at a concentration camp.  Yet he emerged with the notion that life is still worth living and wrote Man’s Search for Meaning to drive home the point.  And, what is our problem again?  I often think about this when I have something big draining my happiness.  Take this in the morning and it puts big problems in perspective the rest of the day.
  2. We hate when cable and phone companies “bundle” their services forcing us to buy something we don’t want with something we do.  So unbundle the need to have everything make you happy when even one small thing can feel just as good.  Everything going our way is not necessary to be happy.  Just recognizing one thing that does will do.
  3. When friends disappoint, forgive.  The act of forgiving makes us happy every time we employ it.
  4. Dealing with life’s problems – not necessarily solving them – makes us feel empowered and therefore happy.  Some problems go away on their own.  Some cannot and therefore we must learn to accept but most others take much longer to be resolved so ask, “Why postpone happiness?”
  5. The most potent “happy pill” is making someone else happy.  A friend used to call me and say, “You’re a good man”.  Do a nice deed.  Try to surprise someone this very minute – an action that will make them happy.  The little known rule is that happiness is as contagious as a yawn.  You don’t have to be on the receiving end to get the benefit.

Sometimes medications, therapy and the warmth of a friend can do wonders, but when we find the need to be real happy real quick, try one of these “happy pills”.

“The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the cultivation of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being” Dalai Lama

Share by forwarding this article to friends and family

To Read More Stories like these, click here. 

Don’t Miss Tomorrow’s ArticleSubscribe to This Feed – Free Updates by Email

+ Comment on this post
  • […] ALSO FROM JERRY THIS MORNING: The Happy Pill […]