Why Becoming More Argumentative Will Make You Smarter

When I saw that headline, I thought  “Gosh, that’s not what my folks and teachers told me!”  I read the BBC on my computer every morning.  Obviously, the title caught my eye. It certainly wasn’t what I was taught when I was young–which was, admittedly  a very long time ago.  I was always told “Don’t argue!”  It’s rude, disrespectful   It was specially not okay for girls/ women to argue.  Arguing was usually looked at as being loud and threatening.  Raised voices were definitely not acceptable.  In fact, sometimes it was not okay to even disagree quietly.

I also thought about attorneys whose profession very often includes arguing–both in and out of court   That’s why I thought that I would share some of this article with you.  The author states that there are three reasons arguing can be valuable.

1.  You can test your ideas against different ideas.  This will

either help you strengthen your argument or you might

change your mind.

2.  Your egotistical (that’ not a bad word) side can be useful so

that you don’t have to deny it.  Author Jonathan Rauch

states that “Bias and dogmatism and stubbornness are fuel

for forging better ideas…”

3.  Traits in thinking that may seem like flaws can be useful.

What is labeled as “confirmation bias” drives us to look

more deeply for facts that will support our existing opinion.

Disagreeing with someone does not have to be done aggressively, as I’m sure you all know.  It can be done with respect and empathy.  It’s a way to test out the strength of your arguments and improve on any weaknesses.

There is much more to the article, of course.  If you would like a copy of the whole article, please let me know and I will be happy to send it to you.

Published in AAC, Best Practices, Strategy