My mom used to tell me not to argue with people. And I’m sure a lot of your mothers told you the same thing. But I LOVE arguing. LOVE it. As someone who loves the truth, I can’t just standby and let somebody spread crap. It bothers me.
But I have discovered that you can’t win arguments unless you know your opponent. So, I’ve uncovered some of the usual D-bag arguers and will tell you how to beat them in an argument.
Mr. Philosophy probably took a first-year philosophy class or read a book or some internet articles on arguing. You’ll know him by how he throws in things like:
- You’re begging the question.
- That’s an ad hominum attack!
- You are not following the canons of rational discourse
- Your argument is not logical
When pressed, he may or may not know what these things actually mean. But they are effective if YOU don’t know what they mean.
How to win: ask him to prove how you’re begging the question or define a Latin phrase.
Side note: Most people use the phrase “begging the question” wrong anyway.
The blowhard is a formidable opponent and he usually wins. Why? Because he talks loud and often. Most people do not have the energy to keep up with the blowhard. So, the blowhard considers himself the “winner”.
Some notable characteristics:
- Voice rises at the beginning of each sentence
- Does a lot of finger-pointing and jabbing gestures
- If writing, he writes a long rambling novel instead of writing the two sentences required.
How to win: Just keep coming back at them. They will usually end it with an “I can’t talk to you anymore”. Oh, he’ll use some lame-ass excuse on why he’s quitting, but don’t let him fool you…he’s ended it because he’s run out of energy.
The lawyer will seek to extract sentences from your argument to show you are wrong.
You: My father, I mean my mother, gets mammograms.
Mr. Lawyer: Ah, but you said father at first. Aren’t you saying that your father is a woman?
Mr. Lawyer: But that’s what you just said. You said your father was a woman.
You: I didn’t say that. You did.
Mr. Lawyer: So, now you’re denying your own words? If your father is not a woman, how can “he” get mammograms.
You: Well, technically, men can get breast cancer.
Mr. Lawyer: So, now you’re saying your father gets mammograms. Make up your mind, will you?
MR. Lawyer is frustrating. Like The Blowhard. You’ll usually want to give up. But don’t do that.
How to win: Refuse to answer any question based on semantics and get to the nexzt point. If he tries to argue, just say your moving to the point…never admit you misspoke or made a mistake..Mr. Lawyer will never let that phrase go.
Mr. Passive-aggressive will NEVER assert an opinion. Rather he relies on sarcasm and stock phrases to make it look like he is not making an argument but rather expressing a fact.
Typically uses phrase s like:
- “some people say”
- “I heard that”
- “My buddy tells me..”
How to win: Just say “well, they’re wrong!”
Mr. Ignorant is vey tough indeed. He wins by pretending to not know what is going on. Mr. Ignorant is typical of the person who uses questions to hide the fact that he’s a douchebag. Also, he’ll pretend like he doesn’t know the meaning of basic words and phrases that pertain to the argument. By playing stupid, it allows him to ignore most of the facts and return to his opinion-spouting. Mr. Ignorant will also conveniently forget that you blew his argument away 5 seconds ago and rehash what he was saying.
Mr. Ignorant might say things like this:
- What? Hitler comparisons are wrong? Why? No one gave me that memo!
- I don’t know what you mean by “reform”.
- I googled that word you used, but it didn’t get many hits.
- Sorry. I thought you meant something else. Please explain that again.
- I may not have the education you have, but…
- I don’t understand all them fancy smancy words you use.
How to win: Start talking all “folksy”. Mr. Ignorant’s key to victory is to disarm and destroy an opponent with “Aw Shucks” goodness. If you can be more “folksy” than Mr. Ignorant, you win!