Jordan Ogren

March 4, 2022

How to argue better in 2022.

"Always remember that to argue, and win, is to break down the reality of the person you are arguing against. It is painful to lose your reality, so be kind, even if you are right." — Haruki Murakami.

It was Christmas Eve, and I gave my brother a ride to the bank to get quarters for laundry.

Our conversation started light and cheery. After getting the quarters, we turned the corner onto a more serious topic.

We both went into argue mode, and it didn't end pretty. We got upset sharing our unique perspectives, resulting in many harsh words.

Eventually, my brother got out a mile or two before his apartment and walked home. It was that bad. I felt horrible.

I was not on my best behavior. I regret how I said much of it, but I didn't regret what I said–the premise I was arguing was right.

But I realized I was not kind. I broke down his reality and didn't think to do it gently.

How often have you known you were 100% right yet still harsh in conveying your "rightness?" Far too many times for me.

Reading the quote at the start helped instill why I need to take a calmer approach in arguments when I believe I am right. I need to exercise calm communication to break the other person's reality gently.

Even if you're right, that doesn't mean you need to be mean.

I also need to realize that many will react violently to their reality breaking down. I HATE being wrong, so I understand the reckless flailing that happens when you're wrong.

The challenge is being gentle when breaking down their reality and understanding when they reject our truth.

How will you become more gentle in your arguments when you know you're right?

It's something I'm working on in 2022. I hope you do too.

🧠 + ❤️ // JO