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How to argue against confident articulate people

One of the toughest things to deal with when you want to confront people is when you’re up against what I call an “articulate enemy”.

This is somebody who’s really good at talking, somebody who is really quick witted. They can be funny and sarcastic in a biting way, and they’re good at arguing. They like arguing, they enjoy conflict, and they’re good at winning debates.

They’re probably the most intimidating type of person to come up against because even if they’re wrong, they’ll make it look like you are. They’re just so good at talking.

So, how do we deal with people like this when we’re not particularly articulate and good at arguing ourselves?

Go super simple.

Don’t try to outwit them. Don’t try to outsmart them. Don’t use words that you don’t understand to try and play at their game. Don’t try to keep up with their pace, or interrupt them, or allow their calm mockery to bait you into rushing and getting defensive.

And just call it out. If you don’t understand what they say, you say, “Those words too big for me, you’re gonna have to dumb it down”. Refer openly to the fact that you’re not as clever as them, or as articulate, and then just stay on the point you’ve made.

Just stay as dumb as you are and keep it there, because that is so much more authentic and powerful than trying to beat them at a wordplay strategy game that they’re going to win.

This doesn’t mean someone who’s clever is NOT correct, but when you are sure you’re right, just present your evidence and leave it there.

And take care to watch out for “sophistry” – the art of speaking in a sophisticated way to hide the fact that you’re not actually making solid points. Keep asking them, “Where’s your proof?” and don’t allow clever wordplay to replace evidence.


If you’d like to speak boldly without needing to be clever, then check out my Powerful Honesty course (free sample video here)

One Response

  1. You can even call out the sophistry by saying, “You’re really good at talking, and I think you use that to hide the fact that you’re not actually proving your point with evidence”

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