The Art of Debate – Being a bad winner

27 Jun

When debating it is considered good form to be aware of what the other party has said and to in some way tailor your remarks to let them know that you have been paying attention. If you are going to ignore the other party you might as well call it a monologue or pull up a soapbox, because it shows that you do not value the input of your discussion partner/opponent.


The same thing can be said for discussions among roommates, couples and significant others. If you live with a person, or love them, they might just be worth listening to. If you suspect that they have slighted you in some way, try being curious to figure out their reasoning behind what they said. Odds are that they meant something different than what you thought. There might be room for improvement in how they express themselves, but if once you get to the bottom of what they really meant you realize that they weren’t being mean, let them know!


Find where the breakdown in communication was and focus on making it better, rather than perseverating on how your feelings were hurt. If they go so far as to admit that they were wrong and that they should have expressed themselves better, acknowledge that and thank them for it. Try to see it from their point of view and try to remember that the person you are talking with loves you. They are not your opponent, they are your ally. They want to be on the same team, working in the same direction. When it doesn’t work it is not by design, it is by accident. Help figure out how to make it work better rather than spending time figuring out how to place blame.


When they admit that they were wrong, be a good winner. Pay attention. Be gracious. Make points with them instead of against them.


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