Infographic: How to win any argument

One of life’s more difficult emotional situations is an argument. Whether it’s with someone you love, despise, or don’t even know, conflict can get your blood boiling. Some people go to great lengths to avoid conflict of any kind, while others are just itching to give you a piece of their mind.

Created by Business Insider, the following infographic gives eight pointers on how to win any kind of argument that may arise. Some of the tips include respecting the other person’s opinion instead of attacking their ideas and being confident of your convictions. How you handle conflict determines the amount of trust, respect and any connection you have with the opposing person.

Just know that winning an argument doesn’t necessarily mean being the only one who’s right. If your goal is to resolve a conflict, then to “win” might mean you “lose”. Check out the infographic and learn how to boss your way through an argument:

Infographic: How to win any argument

How to win any argument

Don’t try to win

Attacking someone’s ideas puts them into fight-or-flight mode. Once they’re on edge, there will be no getting through to them.

Be civil

Arguments aren’t always rational. Respect the other person’s point-of-view, no matter how ridiculous it sounds to you.

Ask open-ended questions

Open-ended questions will transform competitive conversations into cooperative discussions.

Be confident

People don’t always listen to the smartest person in the room. A 2013 study found that they listen to the people who act as if they know what’s right.

Show that people agree

We assume that what other people are doing is correct behaviour. This is why having the endorsement of a celebrity—like William Shatner—is an effective marketing tool.

Don’t ask why, ask how

A 2013 study showed that when people with extreme views had to explain why their opinions were right, instead of just why they were right, they were more confident in their convictions.

Use graphs

People trust scientists, therefore doing things that make you appear more scientific—like using a graph—makes you more trustworthy.

Go beyond anecdotes

If you want to be taken seriously, you need to use data; the kind that’s arrived at through peer-reviewed studies with large sample sizes.