I can appreciate a good argument. I’ve actually been involved in one or two. But many people “win” arguments simply by frustrating the crud out of their sparring partners with maddeningly unfair comebacks. There are 3 techniques I find especially annoying:
1) If you are going to debate fairly, you have to have a rebuttal for the specific points that your partner brings up, not just random or vague feedback.
Sally: “You can’t tell me not to wear this halter top to school because you always wear blouses that accentuate your cleavage. In fact, I’ve overheard you telling dad that you swear you get more sales that way.”
Mom: “All right, then! You can go out and make the money for this family! Consider me retired!”
John: “So you’re saying that the company is demanding that I greet every customer with a knock-knock joke or else I’ll get fired? What about Bob? He doesn’t even know what a joke is and he got a raise!”
Boss: “Bob has been an excellent employee and he deserved that raise. Also, he has exquisite handwriting.”
2) Simply stating the opposite of what someone says is not an argument.
Rupert: “Your deli sandwich reeks of bad meat.”
Donny: “No it doesn’t.”
Myrna: “Eating an entire kilo of chocolate eggs in one sitting is a good way to recapture those extra pounds you’ve been meaning to gain.”
Bette: “No it isn’t.”
3) Deflecting attention elsewhere is irrelevant, and you know it.
Klaus: “I’ve been meaning to tell you that I greatly prefer when you keep your legs shaved.”
Cathy: “I’VE been meaning to tell YOU that your breath smells like carrots. And I hate carrots.”
I’m just saying that I’ve noticed some people use these tactics because it stunts the argument and then the lack of anything reasonable to use as a response ends up frustrating the other person completely. Arguments are “won” based on last word spoken. I would try using this approach if I had absolutely no idea how to support my point of view. Or, if I was unconscionable. I’m onto you guys…