Defending an Opinion

Sometimes we argue because of petty reasons, or because we are irritated or due to a lack of communication between the parties involved. However, occasionally we argue because we need to genuinely convince someone else of our perspective. There may be a point or an opinion that you feel too strongly about to let go and simply cannot let rest until the other people involved agree.

In this circumstance communicating well and learning how to keep an argument calm can only get you so far. Calm, effective communicators can still disagree on a wide variety of points so you need to up the ante and make your argument rock solid until it’s almost impossible to disagree whilst still being fair.

The important lesson to learn about defending your opinions is preparation. Learning how to debate and convince people through sheer improvisation and eloquence is a skill that requires years of practice and an inherent confidence and verbal dexterity. Few people can achieve this, but most of us can take steps in advance to make our arguments consistent, logical and potent in anticipation for an argument or debate.

  o make your argument stronger and to defend your position, start by looking at your argument through the formal logic lens discussed earlier. If you cannot articulate your argument, to yourself, in terms of conclusions, premises and statements then you either don’t have a useful argument to begin with or you are muddled about how to express it. You must clarify a messy argument into something coherent and logical before you can continue.

Of course, when we argue with people we don’t express our ideas in terms of statements, premises and conclusions. However clearly understanding what your ‘points’ are before you begin an argument gives you a foundation to work upon.

Now it’s time to research. Even if you know that the essence of your main points is true, it’s not enough just to say them out aloud. People are often misinformed, biased or outright lie about the truth. Unless the other party involved has a reason to strongly respect your opinion or statement, simply stating the truth in a summarized way isn’t powerful enough to convince a skeptical debater. You need to back your points up with evidence and facts to make your point irrefutable.

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