Ultimately, the way to win an argument is to be clear about your definition of “win” and ensure that definition is consistent with your long-term goals. Ask yourself these questions:
- How am I defining “win”?
- Does that definition serve my long-term goals with this person?
- Should I reconsider my definition to better meet my long-term goals?
If your definition of “win” is short-term in nature (prove I’m smart, get the upper hand for once, show him he’s not so hot after all, put her in her place, etc.), consider this:
In Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Daniel Goleman identified the ability to delay gratification (through impulse control) as part of being an emotionally intelligent adult.
Please don’t trade short-term gratification for long-term success.