Arguing is a Net Negative Everytime

Do you argue with people?

I wrote a post about being so focused on my hunger that I failed to recognize what it was like to be a hostess at a short-staffed restaurant.

Here’s a comment I got:

“Get people back to work instead of giving them free money, but no, that’s somehow controversial.”

How would you respond if you disagreed?

Most people would try to change the other person’s mind by saying things like:

“You missed the point.”

“There are always multiple lenses to view things from.”

“Obviously you never worked in a restaurant.”

Each of these statements subconsciously says, “I’m right, and you’re wrong.”

Egos don’t like being told they’re wrong, so let’s try another approach using what Chris Voss calls tactical empathy.


“I’m sorry free money?”

Mirroring is a simple technique where you repeat the last several words someone said with a slight uptone as if to say, “Tell me more.” It shows you’re listening,


“It seems like many people decided not to return when unemployment ran out.”

Labeling describes the underlying emotion the other person is feeling. Again it gets back to making people feel understood.

Calibrated Question

“What‘s going on in those cases where unemployment has expired, but people haven’t returned to work?”

Calibrated questions enlist the help of the other person to solve the problem. It makes you an ally, not a foe.

Here’s how the person who left the comment responded:

“Things I might not be aware of.”

The lesson?

Everyone has a hunger to be heard.

Knowing what to say to make people feel heard and understood is a superpower for getting through to anyone in your personal or business life.

You can understand someone without agreeing with them.

Don’t argue with people.

Rewire your brain to listen.