How To Talk Your Way Out of An Argument: Ask Questions!

Some people joke that arguments would be shorter if the other person would just admit they're wrong. And no matter how complicated and nuanced the topic is, deep down, we might think:

  • They’re just being stubborn. (And we need to work harder to convince them.)

  • They’re naïve. (And we need to convey our wisdom.)

  • They’re so controlling. (And we need to call them out on it.)

  • They’re totally irrational. (And we need to educate them with facts.)

I'm sure these dynamics are familiar. You may even have your own favorite! Unfortunately, each time we fall back on these tropes, we create a groove. Over years and years, these grooves can become easy (and counter-productive) defaults. Defaults which may lead us to believe we have a surplus of naive or stubborn people in our life. So how do we escape those grooves? How do we break the cycle? How do we save ourselves from ourselves?

Be curious. So instead of asking ourselves “How can they think that?” ask, Hmmm, I wonder what kind of information they have that I don’t?” Instead of asking, “Why are they being so irrational about this?” ask, “How are they seeing the world such that their view makes complete sense?” You may even ask “What am I missing here?”

So how can you talk your way out of an argument? Ask questions. Genuine curiosity unlocks essential information and adds a new dimension to the conversation.


Fisher Law Practice offers engaging conflict resolution training to help people communicate better in the office. 98% of workshop participants had fun and learned valuable skills. If you'd like this training in your workplace, call 917-819-5656.