Well, for me at least, it depends. If its something I’m passionate about and the person I am arguing with can be respectful about it, then yes. If my opponent can do nothing other than hurl personal insults at me and attempt to make me feel stupid, then no.
However, arguing (or debating as some like to call it) is a mastered skill, one that I’ve been honing for years. During that time, I’ve come up with a few key steps to making a successful argument:
1. Don’t base your argument on emotion. All you’re doing is coming off as is an emotional pain in the ass that couldn’t argue their way out of a box. Instead, research your argument and base it on fact.
2. Don’t attack the other person’s character. I will admit, I’ve done this before, and it ALWAYS ends badly. Assuming you know your opponent without actually taking the time to get to know them outside the argument always ends in disaster, usually for you.
3. Limit the curse words. It just makes you look stupid and all your really doing is attempting to pull an emotional response out of the person you are arguing with. If they’re any good at arguing they’ll see right through it and you’ll lose their respect.
4. Respect the person you are arguing with. I know this is difficult. It’s still one I have yet to master, but I’m working on it. But it is key. You disagree with them, and its hard to respect them. But every person deserves respect and if you expect to sway their opinion at all then you’ll need to treat them with respect. You catch a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar.
5. Don’t argue for the sake of arguing. All you’re doing is angering someone for no intended purpose and pissing them off for no reason other than to get a response.
6. Be open to changing your mind. If you can’t be willing to say okay I was wrong, then how can you expect your opponent to do the same?
7. Always keep in mind the person you are arguing with. You don’t know what kind of day they’ve had or what they are going through. You don’t know how their opinions on the subject were formed and you sure as hell don’t know how long they’ve held those opinions.
8. Be patient. If you are right then you are right, but that doesn’t mean they will see it right away, if at all. If they refuse to change their mind, then walk away. All you are doing by staying is getting more pissed off and emotional. As I explained earlier, this is never a good idea.
9. If you are incapable of having an argument with someone based on the facts then you really should not argue with them. All you are doing is turning people away from the thing you are so passionate about. There are far more capable people who can defend the very same argument based on fact. Let them do it and don’t make their lives more difficult by having to overcome their opponent’s prejudices and biases from arguing with you.