Starts With A Bang

Weekend Diversion: How to Argue

Sometimes, things happen that either:

and that’s when it’s time to argue. Sometimes, there’s no way around it, and I need to put myself out there, and make the best argument I can for one side of an issue based on what I know.

So this week, I have a conciliatory song from one of my favorite bands that you’ve probably never heard of, Storyhill, and this song is called Continents Collide. If I was near Dearwood, MN, I’d definitely go see them this coming Labor Day Weekend. Take a listen:

Why pick such a conciliatory song to talk about arguments? Because there are good ways and bad ways to argue. Calling someone names? Probably a bad idea. Yelling at someone that they’re wrong without explaining what’s actually correct? Probably also not the best idea.

But how do you know what the best way actually is to present your arguments? Fortunately for you, I’ve found a helpful pyramid to help you formulate your arguments. At the top is the most effective; at the bottom is the least effective.

It’s sometimes tough to decipher what the central point of someone else’s argument is, because most people don’t argue clearly and logically. But if you can identify it, that’s when you win. When someone else mucks around at the bottom of the pyramid, don’t sink to their level; stay up high. Those top two levels are really the only way to ever change someone’s mind, or to sway other intelligent, thinking people to your side.

You are, of course, free to argue however you like. But if you want to argue on my site, you’re really best off remembering this hierarchy, and staying as high as possible on it. Most of you do pretty well, but this has served me well in general, and I hope it helps you to see things laid out like this. And if not, at least you got a great song out of it!