There can often be a thin line between a debate and an argument. Where there is passion there is conflict, and it can be easy to get lost in this passion. As odd as it is, getting too fired up can lead to you not being taken seriously, and to people not wanting to listen to what you have to say. If you really want to get your point across, you need to learn to navigate the line between debating and arguing. Here are three tips for having a civilized debating without arguing.
Tip #1: Don’t Attack Someone Personally
A debate is an exchange of ideas, not an insult contest. While you can use insults to try and discredit someone, in reality, you are hollowing out your debate, and people who have a keen ear for debates can hear what you are doing. This makes you look petty, and it weakens your credibility.
Don’t attack someone personally, and instead attack their ideas. Just because they disagree with you, it doesn’t mean that they are a bad person. Treat your opponent with respect, and stick to the facts.
Tip #2: Allow Someone To Finish
If you constantly cut someone off, you’ll never be able to properly hear their opinion, nor will you be able to properly retort. You’ll also do nothing but make them angry, which can cause them to start cutting you off and attacking you.
Even worse, if there’s an audience, being a jerk can cause you to lose the debate. If they are tactful about how they hold their composure while you’re constantly jutting in, you will look like you have the weaker argument.
Tip #3: Steady Your Volume
Being loud doesn’t make you right. It seems that the modern way of discourse and protest is simply to yell louder than your opponent. Instead of engaging in discussion, people want to be so loud that the other side can’t be heard.
The truth is, if you have good ideas, they should be able to withstand scrutiny. In other words, if you can’t speak about them calmly and quietly, your opinions probably don’t have much merit.
The next time someone brings up a topic you disagree with, keep these tips in mind and you stand a much better chance of winning the debate.