Do You Enjoy Winning Arguments?

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who always wants to be right? How did you feel once you noticed that you were talking to a person who is like this? Were you ever this person? I am not trying to say that every person is a person on the pursuit of winning an argument, but rather I am sure that you must have noticed this in a person before. The goal of this post is to help people understand that going into any conversation with the wrong mindset, trying to prove that you alone are right is going to make for a very one-sided and clichéd conversation. Now imagine everyone in the world trying to do this, it will be almost impossible for anyone to have a proper meaningful conversation. Please do forgive me if I do not effectively elaborate on this topic, as it is difficult to do so when we ourselves are sometimes guilty of trying to win an argument and sometimes a victim of it also. However, I do hope that by sharing some of my own lessons, I am able to make you much more aware of it in others and yourself. Enjoy, kind reader!

Photo by Thomas Young on Unsplash

Before getting into a conversation with anyone, I do also feel the impulse to reply just before the other finishes their explanation, as you barge in with a leap at a prejudiced understanding so that you can prove your point and disprove the others. As the other speaks each word, you start to see how contradictory they may be to what you are saying, and the impulse to react builds up until finally, you decide to speak out. Have you ever considered that you may be the one that is wrong? The fact that you must impulsively act to prove a point says much more about you than you know. Whatever point you try to prove, the way in which you convey yourself is what adds to your ensemble.

Trust me when I say that I understand the feeling. The feeling of being right and being acknowledged as one who is known to be right. To be acknowledged is quite difficult to do whenever you are proved wrong, right? Sometimes we allow this feeling of being ‘attacked’ to pull us down a path where we may take out our frustration on the other individual, but we actually are at war with ourselves. I have seen it all my life, people reluctantly going into conversations trying to prove their argument to be true, but doing so with the wrong state of mind. Most of the time they overthink things to such an extent that even before they engage in a conversation, they are already in an apprehensive state of mind. Now for anyone to be in an unclear state of mind before pursuing anything, increases the risk of falling victim to ignorant behavior. An unclear mind very seldom leads to clear and well thought out behavior. Sometimes, people are quite confident in their argument, maybe because they have proved its validity with others before and think that it will be the same with each subsequent conversation. I have noticed how emotions flare up as people willingly speak to defend their point, waiting for the other to back down and give in. Sometimes people walk away, sometimes they don’t. Another individual’s reaction is never one that can be predicted. However, there were always a few who always caught my attention. Bringing with them a new perspective to my life about what a meaningful conversation actually entails. The admirable ones are the ones that only a few ever notice. The ones that have a significant impact with such precise and short-lived conversations, that no one would ever recognize it as an argument. These meaningful conversations occur when the included parties unselfishly come into the conversation with a perspective and are ready to make their point, and if another point makes more sense, then they are willing to change their perspective. These are brave people who listen to reason and embrace all forms of learning. They do so because they are never afraid to learn something new which will improve their perspective of life!

It was a process to discover impulsive behavior in myself (since nothing happens overnight) and after seeing such composure in people, I decided that I had to develop this quality in myself. To act impulsively is sometimes difficult to notice until you start to pay attention to yourself throughout the day (and the rest of your living days). There were times when I went into conversations with a righteous argument and times with a prejudiced one. Proving myself to be right did always feel good, but I never did enjoy the arrogance that built up behind the back and forth conversation. The moments that really did make me feel quite guilty, was when I went in with prejudiced arguments and argued myself to be right. Until I finally realized that I was wrong, I would feel so guilty for blindly pursuing this ignorance. I mean I started to feel a little less noble, honest and it felt like my integrity was depleting. I was losing respect for myself because this was not someone whom I wanted to be. It was at this time when I decided that to prevent this from happening for the rest of my living days, I had to remind myself to act according to my reason whenever I faced a situation similar to this.

After months of practice, I finally was able to better convey myself in conversations, regardless of whether I was right or wrong. This would be as simple as just reminding myself to control the way I react to certain situations instead of allowing the way I react to be controlled by the situation. I was getting better at approaching people and reminding myself at the right times to take a deep breath and to not give in to ignorant behavior. Don’t get me wrong, you still do feel quite guilty whenever you are wrong, but the reason as to why I felt a little less guilty, was because of the way in which I now approached a conversation. I chose to change from an arrogant and stubborn stance to one that was enthusiastic and ever ready to learn. This enabled me to ask so many questions, to reduce whatever doubt I had about a specific subject. I was ever ready to approach a conversation with my perspective, but also ready to change my perspective if the other one was proved to be much more reasonable. This way of approaching conversations has helped me grow significantly and move away from blindly hating myself for approaching anything in life with all the ignorance that ate away at my soul.

What I am trying to say is that whenever you approach any situation, I understand the many things that may be playing around in your mind, but do not ever let that steer you away from having a meaningful conversation. Talking to yourself in an arrogant manner brings out the arrogance in you, so imagine what kind of impact it must have on most people. You can never always be right. There will be times when others may see things a bit differently and that is completely fine! We are all different perspectives of the universe, so it is only natural that we sometimes differ in the way we think. So, what if you may be wrong at times? It’s okay to be wrong, but what is worse is never learning to accept it and stubbornly pursuing your perspective by burning pieces of your soul to fuel your pursuit towards ignorance and regret. It is never terrible to admit when you are wrong and change your perspective. I started looking at these people as inspiration for approaching most things in my life, so just imagine who you could inspire?

Marcus Aurelius says that “reason does all the work itself”, so all you have to do is let your reason work as your approach anything in your life, without allowing your emotions to overwhelm you at that moment. Okay, so I feel the emotions build up as well and it does get quite difficult to control an overwhelmed mind, but try taking in a few deep breaths and see how differently you approach situations after. Our minds are designed to work in a way such that whenever you face a situation, the first part of your brain to activate is your emotions (limbic system), then after your reason starts to build up. That explains why you sometimes get frustrated in the moment, but when you do calm down you tend to see things a bit more reasonably and objectively. This should not be used as an excuse to validate inconsiderate behavior, rather this should fuel your pursuit of working with yourself, understanding that your emotions will flare up at times and still making the effort to maintain your composure and have a meaningful conversation with anyone.

Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

Albert Einstein describes insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Everything that you have done in your life has got you this far, but do you only wish to have come this far? You have the power to work with yourself and discover unique traits that will make you who you truly are. Don’t be afraid to explore yourself. You will meet new people on a daily basis and they will meet you, so use this as an opportunity to show them who you are, because they may never see you again in your life, but you have the opportunity to create an unforgettable experience!

These little mindset shifts working together can help you create someone that you never imagined yourself to be and who knows, you may become someone that you are proud of. So invest in your existence and you can inspire others to do the same someday!

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René Chunilall

René Chunilall

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Sharing the lessons I learn on my journey towards self-mastery | I post videos on Instagram too: https://instagram.com/omni_rene