Arguing with people is worthless and pointless. There really are fewer things that are more pathetic than arguing and ‘debating.’
If you think about it, arguing is a form of complaining and whining. You’re voicing out something you feel is wrong in hopes of making a change. You’re hoping to feel some sort of power and influence through arguments, but what you’re demonstrating instead is that you have none. If you were making changes by arguing with people, you wouldn’t be engaging in arguments in the first place. Arguments happen precisely because you don’t feel in control and people are resisting your point of view. I see politically minded people complaining and arguing all the time about issues in which they have zero control over. And quite frankly, it’s pathetic if not outright tiresome. If they really were concerned about those issues, they would keep their mouths shut and do something about it instead of trying to shove their views down other people’s throats.
Arguing is also a form of intellectual snobbery, which what a lot of introverted and snobby people like to engage in to makes themselves feel superior to others. They know that they lack in many other areas of their lives, so the only way they can feel good about themselves is if they were using their supposed superior knowledge and understanding to engage people ‘intellectually’. That is their only way to connect with people and feel important. When they’re engaging in these ‘debates’, inside their heads, they believe that they’re having a great social interaction where people are intellectually enriching themselves. What they fail to realize is that people despise this form of intellectual pomposity. They won’t be flattered by your knowledge or debating skills, they will only learn not to engage with you socially. All you’re doing is pushing people away from connecting with you. There’s absolutely no intellectual or social benefit to it.
Unless you’re a lawyer or a politician whose job is to argue (and lie) you have no reason to argue with people. If it’s your intention to change the way people think and behave, there are far better methods of doing them than to argue with them. Just think of Aesop’s fable of North Wind and the Sun. Men don’t want to admit that they were wrong, so the more you argue, the more defensive they will be. If it’s really your intention to change the way they see the world, and not to patronize them with your moral and intellectual superiority, then you should master the art of subtlety and persuasion instead.
As always, actions triumph over words. One of the best ways to persuade people is through your actions. Words make promises, but action delivers. I have never heard of anyone becoming successful by being argumentative. Successful people make changes by becoming influential through what they do. If you ever see them argue and debate, it’s only after they have earned their status as an authority. Even then, you won’t see these people ceaselessly waste time arguing unless it was necessary.
I don’t know how many times I had to engage with clueless people and armchair intellectuals who do nothing while criticizing and arguing all the time. If I wanted to enrich my life, I would rather learn from those who have already accomplished what I want to accomplish than to listen to some patronizing words of a critic. As soon as I realize that I’m arguing with a brick wall, I learn to disengage instead. Who cares if they think they ‘won’ an argument? Let them have it. Whenever you catch yourself arguing with people, you need to ask yourself these two questions: What does the other person want and what am I gaining out of this? The answers will almost always be the same: The other person is trying to control you or manipulate your thoughts and emotions. Or alternatively, he is resisting your attempts to control and manipulate him, and you’re not gaining anything besides needless stress.
Always aspire to learn. Learning requires co-operation between people with one person relaying the information and the other person listening and asking relevant questions for clarification. Arguing is not learning. Spend your time instead on learning and applying what you have learned through action. Because in the end, the only thing that matters is what you’ve accomplished for yourself.