A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.

– Benjamin Franklin

“You cannot win an argument”, says Dale Carnegie in his all time famous book ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People‘. Above quote is an extension to his thoughts on why arguments are worthless. He writes –

Nine times out of ten, an argument ends with each of the contestants more firmly convinced than ever that he is absolutely right.

You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is non compos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph. And –

“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

In this world, the main thing people crave for is the feeling of importance, and when we argue or oppose with people, we make them feel inferior. Their resistance to being told they are wrong is quite obvious. They become defensive and non-cooperative in general. Though you might have “won” the argument and proved your point, but at the same time you unknowingly destroyed the relationship – and hence you really “lost” overall . In such scenario, it is difficult to influence the people and be friend with.

What are your thoughts on this quote? Please let us know in the comments section below.

How to Win Friends & Influence People