We all get into arguments from time to time. But how do you deal with those people who consistently want to fight and act like they are always right? Contradicting them just feeds their desire for conflict and will frustrate and cause strife. Here are a five alternative methods for dealing with this type of difficult person.
Deflect the anger. Ask questions designed to get the other person to think about why he or she is upset. it’s very difficult to argue with someone who is smiling and conversing without resistance.
Let them think your point of view is their own.
To do this requires some subtlety but is very powerful against extremely stubborn people who will never admit they are wrong. The trick is to ask questions designed to manipulate the person into arriving at your conclusion “on their own.”
Admit your mistakes.
If you did something wrong or made a mistake, just be humble and admit it. This sounds like you’re conceding defeat, but actually this wins immediately since it takes the combative person completely off guard. One of two things usually happens next: either the other person will feel bad for even bringing up the issue and will suddenly be very helpful, or they won’t know how to respond immediately which gives you the opportunity to say something leading the conversation into a more productive direction.
“One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do
and always a clever thing to say.”
~ Will Durant
This is an especially strong technique when you know you’re right and you suspect the other person knows it but isn’t ready to admit it. Let the person fumble and squirm around while you just listen.
Do Not Attack
Whatever you do, do not attack the other person. Sure, you might know the exact thing to say to hit ‘em where it hurts. You might be cold and calculating with your logic and reduce the argument (and the person’s self-esteem) to dust. Or you could follow the techniques above and come away from the argument with an ally instead of a foe. Your choice.