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Etiquette and Ethics of Dispute

Sooner or later, any person has to enter into an argument, defending their point of view and refuting the positions of other people. It is important to be able to observe the fine line between energetic discussion and conflict behavior. In addition, a polite and cultured person must avoid even the slightest hint of manipulation or dishonest reception.

How to argue

Modern etiquette regulates both prepared and accidentally arising (unplanned) disputes. The key rules for each of the disputants are certain rules:

  • You can not evade the original topic. If the conversation goes on to discuss another problem, even a very close one, pay attention to this.
  • Immediately identify those positions for which you agree with the opponent. Indicate what you will not accept in any case, from which principles you are not going to retreat. This will help to avoid misunderstanding and many hot points.
  • Adjust your speech and argumentation to the level of another participant and audience, do not try to demonstrate your superiority with the help of complex terms or unknown to most words.
  • The ethics of the dispute, of course, prohibits replacing concepts or investing in them a different meaning.
  • Introduce new arguments one at a time, do not immediately try to bring down the whole "avalanche" of arguments on the other side.

How not to put yourself in a negative light

The true culture of controversy implies that the disputants acknowledge the mistakes that the audience or even a principled opponent points to.

Not observing this condition, you sharply reduce the productivity of the discussion, provoking the other side to the conflict.

Each argument made by one of the participants needs to be carefully considered, and not simply rejected because of their disagreement, antipathy to the speaker or ethical beliefs.

Argumentation and evidence

This point is especially important, because by the way a person argues his position and opposes the opinion of others, you can immediately understand:

  • how great is his knowledge in general and on the subject under discussion;
  • whether he manages to observe the border separating simple conviction and assertiveness from rudeness;
  • whether the speaker can formulate his position correctly, without offending anyone, even in a veiled form;
  • whether the idea is expressed clearly, or the speaker himself does not represent the depth of the subject of discussion and cannot fully convey his theses.

In any case, whether it is a business conversation, an academic debate, a discussion on television or a dispute with family members, It is advisable to use simple and precisely formulated thoughts. So it will be more difficult for the opponent in a dispute to turn them in a direction favorable to themselves or to switch the discussion to another topic.

Do not say something that you are not 100% sure of, even if you really need arguments in defense of a weak position. In an extreme case, immediately specify that you put forward only an opinion, an assumption, or information that is not fully verified.

The rules of the dispute mean, among other things, that the opponent’s statements must first be refuted (or partially accepted), and only then can one develop one’s own thought. One or two expressive and strong arguments will help to win the dispute rather than a dozen dull evidence, half of which, moreover, will say little even to experts who do not delve into the discussion.

If a solution is proposed that you do not like, you must first focus on its advantages and strengths. Only then can vulnerabilities and negative consequences be indicated.

So you reduce the risk that your position will be perceived as excessively critical.

Some secrets of "black rhetoric" and manipulation in a dispute, see the video below.

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