Sorry that argument doesn't wash with me

By | 2010/02/07

There’s a type of argument that really gets under my skin. It starts with something like this:

I’ve been doing X for Y years.

You know what? I don’t care. If you have to start an argument with an implicit declaration of superiority, you lose the argument before you actually get it out. Here’s why:

  1. In any situation I could guarantee that I’d find someone who has been doing X for Y+n years who doesn’t agree with you. Ergo, you’re wrong.

Actually, there’s a whole bunch of more reasons including the most obvious: that by starting an argument with such a “fact” you’re aiming to intimidate agreement rather than present reasoned facts. Self important breast-beating doesn’t win arguments. Starting an argument with self important breast-beating leaves me wondering how certain you are of yourself, or your points.

Even as a consultant, humility goes a long way.