How to win or lose debates and arguments.

I chose this topic because I just watched a “bad” person “winning” a zero-sum political game against a “good” person on CNN. I walked  diligently to my computer and started writing because the topic of psychological power in conversations reminded me some of the “hot” topics I used to cover for 10 years as a psychological consultant to the National Enquirer magazine.

First, let me define for you good and bad people: According to the great psychologist Jean Piaget good people judge you by your intentions and the good stuff you produce, bad people ignore your good intention and minimize the good stuff you produce. Intentionality is a higher state of mind than concrete operations is on the moral and cognitive hierarchy of Piaget human scale

Now, what irritated me about the good person on CNN was his absolute refusal to get personal (pick at) his opponent who seemed to be indifferent to human suffering and showed no sympathy or empathy for human rights. Ladies and gentlemen, let me give you a great verbal weapon against cold and non caring individuals that you sometimes have to deal with in the media, your personal life or in your business: DON’T LET BAD PEOPLE GET AWAY WITH IT. The world will be more pleasant if you make bad people a little uncomfortable.

Please memorize: Bad people are much more sensitive to psychological needling of their negative characteristics  than good people are. As soon as they start their “bul…” develop the courage to get personal with finesse. I want you to develop examples, but here are a few that can get you started. The good person on CNN, at the right moment, could have said, “I am surprised that CNN allowed you on the air with your views.” Here is a good “begging the question,”  “Why do you like to distort the facts?” Here is a fine ad hominem,  “Do you even look at what you say?” “Do you read the name of the authors of the books you read before you read them?” “”You seem less informed on the subject at hand. Do you want to talk about something easier to understand?” And so on. Be creative and improve your skill of stepping on the psychological toes of bad people. I wish you watched how I interact with bad people. They seem to love to be polite and silent around me, I wonder why? Hey, if you are a good person I give you permission to go out and get respect, as Rodney Dangerfield used to say!

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One Response to “How to win or lose debates and arguments.”

  1. A. L. Luttrell Says:

    Great advice, interesting perspective……maybe I’ll have the chance to give it a try. Thank you.

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