People have a hard time admitting they are wrong.
Here’s the problem with starting an argument with someone who’s clearly wrong. People with opinions that are not based on facts or logic have trouble with critical thinking, which also makes having a discussion with them terribly tricky because they don’t know the rules of engagement.
The first step to avoiding these situations is not having an argument. But if you have to settle a disagreement, it’s best to frame it as a discussion instead of an argument. The difference? “A discussion is a respectful exchange of information. An argument is a coercive attempt to be acknowledged as right or smart or sensitive,” Steven Stosny, Ph.D. writes in Psychology Today.
“In arguments, we invalidate feelings and undermine perspectives. In discussions, we validate feelings and expand perspectives,” Dr. Stosny continues.
One of the keys to having a good discussion is to listen to the other person and ask plenty of questions. This makes the other person feel heard and more likely for the two of you to find common ground. It can also reveal how much they know about the topic at hand.
But if you wind up getting into an argument, there are some telltale signs that you won the debate because the other person has been thrown from their facts and talking points and has to save face. A Reddit user by the name ViForYourAttention asked the forum, “What statement screams ‘I just lost the argument'? And they received a ton of great tactics and sayings that people turn to as a last resort.
The discussion wasn’t just full of great “gotcha” moments but a frank discussion on how to have an honest debate by learning to spot cheap tricks and personal attacks.
Here are 17 statements that scream, “I lost the argument.”
"Pointing out a small discrepancy in an otherwise factual statement and pretending that invalidates their whole argument. 'I saw you get in a blue car and drive off with your secret lover when you said you were going for a walk.' 'You're completely wrong. It was a blue SUV, and I did go for a walk after.'" — jiyida8112
"As soon as someone shifts the goalposts. It is important to be able to identify this. It is also important to know the difference between this and someone wording their initial argument poorly. ... But in general shifting goalposts means that they were losing an argument because of a unstable basis, so they'll shift their previously dogmatic basis to something more broad or they'll change their entire opinion midway through a conversation. The way to combat it is simply to always keep in mind the original intent of the conversation. Know what the initial claims were and move on from there always keeping those in mind." — Sovreign_grounds
“I concede.” — Southern_Snowshoe
"You spelled 'x' the wrong way." — GustavoAlex7789
"I know you r but what am I?" — MineDamnBrain
"Any personal insult. As soon as you comment on the person and not the topic, you've lost." — Aunt_Anne
"[The moment someone says] 'I don't even care' or 'this is dumb."' — KarlaKaress
XXXSimply unstable added:
"'Whatever' or 'I'm over it' or both combined into 'Whatever, I'm over it!'"
"You just lost a customer." — Sucros
"When my husband sits there with that look on his face. That look that says he is waiting for me to put together some obvious pieces that I missed. I always find those pieces eventually. And then I concede, with an air of torture because he's always right. Always! As soon as I see that look, I lost." — gecepix937
"Saying something completely irrelevant to the argument that they found on your post/comment history." — PM_ME_UR_FEET_69
"'Oh yeah? Well, I know someone else who thought that way. Adolf Hitler!'" — hawt_pawket
"Do your research." — Orenge01
"'You always have to get the last word.' A statement made exclusively by people who are trying to have the last word, but are out of points." — ScruffyTuscaloosa
"'I'm not talking about it anymore!' Yeah, because you know youre making absolutely no sense." — WRA1THLORD
"Bringing up an entirely different topic. Whataboutism as they say." — TDeath21
"When they start projecting. For example, they start accusing you of something that they're doing - like being bigoted. Or they start threatening to report or block you even though they're in the wrong." — HyperDogOwner458
"You just always have to be right." — sugabeetus