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How to Be More Convincing

Every person has the ability to think in a progressive way, different from the other living creatures on the planet. This is what makes our world a place full of creativity and progress. However, the open-mindedness we have means that each of us has different and diverse opinions, which inevitably leads to a lack of understanding and agreement between people. This situation often causes the development of arguments and friction in a variety of areas - whether it is about action strategies at work, planning, or a family vacation with your spouse.

Of course, it is recommended that each of us try to see the logic of the other side. However, if you are sure of your position, do not try to convince with aggression and shouting. Instead, learn how to express your thoughts in a way that will show others the full picture and help them understand you. In the following article, you will learn the basics of becoming a more verbally persuasive person.

How to Be More Convincing face to face

Why can't we convince others to accept our opinion?

It is possible that the ideas you come up with during discussions are very worthwhile. However, due to a lack of persuasiveness, you fail to convey them in a way that will make others want to agree with you. Most of us lack this ability, and as a result, many discussions can turn into arguments within moments. When this happens, we become defensive and try to take shortcuts to prove that the other person is wrong, while showing that we are correct at the same time. As long as the argument does not get too heated and you're talking to a rational person who does not let their emotions get in the way of common sense, this approach can work. But usually, such an attempt fails. Even if your argument sounds convincing, the moment you try to counter the argument of the person in front of you, you force them to change their minds and concede defeat. And very few people can admit to being wrong easily.

The boomerang effect: correcting mistakes almost always leads to failure in the persuasion attempt

A joint study between the Universities of Michigan and Georgia in the United States provided empirical evidence for the notion that was stated in the previous section. The investigation was conducted to explain why individuals stick to their political convictions even when others attempt to convince them otherwise. The analysis indicated that trying to fix another person's erroneous thinking only serves to increase the ambiguity regarding the accuracy in their minds. In simpler words, trying to modify the other person's thought process by showing their mistake is pointless. Those who receive a "correction" in their reasoning are even more resistant to views that come from opinions that conflict with their own.
How to Be More Convincing argument

How to persuade by giving people the full picture

It appears to be a more difficult challenge than anticipated to change someone else's opinion, which is why we may need to adopt an alternate, even time-honored, approach. Blaise Pascal, a philosopher from the 17th century, wrote the renowned article "On the Art of Persuasion" before the advent of psychology. Arthur Markman, a psychologist, endorsed Pascal's opinion many years later. He claimed that there is a 100% successful way to convince the person in your presence to consider all the angles instead of simply disproving their point. This technique is composed of two easy steps:

1. Acknowledge the accuracy of the other individual's point of view.

2. Direct them to recognize the counter-argument.

To begin with, we need to acknowledge the fact that everyone has the right to their own opinion. We should also understand that the point of view we don't agree with still contains elements of truth. After that, we should present the other side of the argument in a subtle way. To illustrate, let's take an example of a discussion between you and your partner about dinner for the children.


Suppose your partner suggests getting a hamburger, but you want pizza. You can respond by saying "It's true that a hamburger is a convenient option, but what about pizza? It can be fulfilling too, and we can also order extra dishes with more nutrients in them at an Italian restaurant - something the kids might appreciate, right?"

Rather than directly negating someone else's opinion, a more effective approach is to show them a different perspective. For instance, while a hamburger could be seen as a simple choice, opting for pizza instead provides plenty of other options with the same level of quality. This is possibly even healthier. This way, no one will be let down. It is important to remember that it is more likely to successfully persuade someone if they come to their own conclusions, rather than being influenced. In this particular situation, presenting a suggestion such as "Maybe we should look into something healthier for our children?" can make your partner give the idea some thought and be open to more alternatives. Rather than issuing commands, it is more effective to offer suggestions.

How to Be More Convincing discussion

Rather than issuing commands, offer suggestions.

When seeking to resolve an argument, one should be aware of their delivery and be more of a guide than a leader. Instead of making critical statements, it is more effective to ask questions in order to lead the individual to the idea that you are attempting to convey. This technique allows the person to feel more comfortable when considering your opinion and often they will be receptive to it. Furthermore, the lack of aggression when communicating allows the person to not have to try to protect themselves. To sum it up, it is best to be conscious of one's tone and use questioning instead of judgment when attempting to persuade someone.

To summarize...

Effectively convincing someone is not just about providing a sound argument. To get someone to stop defending their position in an argument, you should use a method that promotes collaboration rather than considering your own needs. Rather than immediately disregarding what your counterpart is saying, note any issues with their line of thought and delicately point them out in an effort to change their opinion - this is the only way to prevent pointless fights.


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