Persuasion involves the process of coaxing someone into believing something. This process should be based on facts and argumentative principles that should be aimed at bringing an understanding to either side of the debating parties. Effective persuasion hence observes the value system which includes personal and cultural values which spearhead ethical integrity. The value system ensures that there little no chance of confrontations that normally occur when people fail to effectively present their ideas to other people or rivals. Though persuasion can lead to a change in a person's behaviors or attitude if positional resources are used well, this is not often achieved as people sometimes use this tool for the pursuit of personal gain or do not follow the argument culture (Gass, & Seiter, 2015).
According to Deborah Tannen, disputes and disagreements are bound to happen in our daily interactions (2008). Arguments pop up in interpersonal relationships, and this could, therefore, happen in school, at home, on the sports field or in the office with our collogues, Tannen argues(2008).As a result of the nature of humans who deem it necessary to hold arguments and find value in winning arguments, it becomes difficult to develop an understanding between parties. Tannen points out that the value system of persuasion is overlooked and that as most people argue to prove others wrong, there is a great drift from the topic at hand hence there are minimal chances of developing an understanding.
As humans, we are more likely to take the winning side in an argument though we do not necessarily agree with the person who is winning the argument but as a result of his control over the conversation. We are sometimes blinded by the superficial situation of the argument instead of the facts presented and our judgment and opinion. Perhaps, the addictive adrenaline rush that is experienced when arguing is too much for us to pass on according to Tannen.
Tannen argues that smashing heads does not open minds (2008). Indeed, it only entraps us into the human nature of arguing and the urge to always prove other people wrong. There is a pervasiveness of warlike format of language that validates the use of aggressive tactics in persuasion. It is difficult to embrace a sane discourse in the process, and effective communication can be hardly attained. It is common that as aggressive tactics prevail, it is less difficult to be conciliatory, which should be our only way of making others believe in our course or understanding of certain issues.
Arguments are not just for the sake for most. When people fight or want to prove themselves, it is about their desire pass their point and rightly so, ensure that it is accepted or validated by other humans. This is what entails the argument culture. In the process, many people prize contentiousness and aggression rather than the more effective approach of cooperation and conciliation. However, our nature and the view that opposing is the only way to get things done is not the best approach. Passionate opposition and strong verbal attack is never the best option to present our ideas because it hardly leads to a conscious examination of facts. Hence, the only way to make other people buy our ideas is through a thoughtful presentation of our facts and persuading others onto believing in what we believe in rather than confronting them and fighting to prove them wrong (Gass, & Seiter, 2015).
Gass, R. H., & Seiter, J. S. (2015). Persuasion: Social influence and compliance gaining. Routledge.
Tannen, D. (2008) For Argument's Sake: Why Do We Feel Compelled to Fight about Everything? 75 Arguments an Anthology. Ed. Alan Ainsworth. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. 46-52.
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