After two grueling weeks of insane deadlines I found myself without a blog topic today. Three mugs of caffeinated creativity later – inspiration hit. Well, not quite inspiration – more like 2 heated emails, a battle with my beloved offspring regarding his wardrobe choice and a call from a reader, irate over her daughter’s picture on the front page. (“She looks chunky!”
God help me.)
From all that – I got this: I enjoy a good debate.
Merriam-Webster’s defines debate: 1) A discussion involving opposing claims; an argument. (2) A regulated contest in which two opposing sides defend and attack a proposition.
I define debate: 1) I’m right – you’re wrong. 2) Accept it or buckle up!
Yes, at first blush this sounds *gasp* stubborn. But as long as I maintain an even temper, listen to the opponent’s points and argue my case sans profanity and/or bloodshed, what’s the problem? Here’s my method:
Babble’s Top 10 Debate Strategies
10. Compliment: Whether confronting a family member, co-worker or political rival – lead with warmth. (The kill comes later.)
9. Smile: This visual cue says 1 of 2 things; “I am kind” or “I am deranged” – let them guess.
8. Eye Contact: Maintain to the point of discomfort. (This method sways above mentioned Smile into deranged category, thus instilling a false sense of mental superiority and/or fear within opponent.)
7. Know Your Facts:
For the love of all that’s Holy – know what the *BLEEP*
you are talking about! Flying by the seat of your pants only leads to an unexpected load of whites and heaps of Stain Stick.
6. Be Humble: Nobody likes a bragger! If your wife owns two Cadillacs, keep that factoid parked in the garage between the Bentleys!
5. Establish Common Ground: “You like ice cream, Mr. Opponent? I like ice cream, too! I should friend you on Facebook!”
4. Mull: Before contradicting – contemplate. This works well with spouses. (“Will harping on the dirty socks blanketing the bedroom floor help my case?”)
3. Words: Pick carefully! Once they leave your mouth – they leave an impression. Avoid shore-leave language.
2. Concise – Cannot believe I’m typing this – don’t babble. Make your point – make an exit.
1. Respect: Bottom line – you’re right and you know it, but the other side may never see it that way. Call a truce before things get ugly. Hitting below the belt never works – stay above the waist. (Egad – I’m flashing back to Catholic school slow dance rules.)