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You Can’t Win An Argument

“A man convinced against his will
Is of the same opinion still”
Dale Carnegie

One of my favorite books is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. One chapter that made an enormous impact on how I do business and how I live was titled “You Can’t Win an Argument,” in which Carnegie writes:

“Nine times out of ten, an argument ends with each of the contestants more firmly convinced than ever that he is absolutely right.”

You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is non compos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph. And, “a man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.”

We have all met the argumentative type who will argue until they are blue in the face even if it is a topic they don’t care about. These people rarely get ahead in life or in their careers because people can’t stand being around them.  I by no means am saying you should be a pushover and not stand up for you values. However, I am asking you to think twice about what Carnegie teaches before you step into your next argument.

If you are trying to gain friends and you constantly make them look stupid no one will want to be your friend. If you are looking for a promotion but always make your boss look dumb in front of people you don’t have a chance.  I have learned this is especially true in the world of sales and clients thus the saying “the customer is always right.” As my father-in-law says; “you can be right and dead!”  He states if you are at a stop light and it turns green and you take off full speed but the person who had a red light never stopped and t-boned you at 75 miles an hour YES you technically had the right of way but it is an argument you never got to have because even though you are right your’re dead.

 Like many of my business teachings I have learned them the hard way. Please share your story with us below when you feel that you had “won” an argument but quite frankly didn’t win at all!

About Dennis M. Postema

Dennis M. Postema, RFC, is a successful entrepreneur, best-selling author, coach, speaker and registered financial consultant. He is the founder of MotivationandSuccess.com, StoriesofPerseverance.org, FinancingYourLife.com and TheRetirementInstitute.org.

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