Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"Maybe You Are Right"

My mother recently taught me a technique she sometimes uses to put an end to never-ending arguments (ex: Democrat vs. Republican).

In the heat of an argument, she simply says, "Maybe you are right."

Immediately, this takes the wind out of the other person's sail and leaves them speechless. The other person hears these words as "Maybe YOU ARE RIGHT" and not the words as my mother intended them, "MAYBE you are right". After a lot of practice using this on my father, my mother has perfected this technique into an art form. I too have used this technique on a few occasions and found it to be quite effective and entertaining. Nothing looks sillier than a person who is desperately trying to argue but doesn't have anyone to argue with.

6 Comments:

At August 23, 2005 at 9:26:00 AM EDT, Blogger Pilot Mom said...

Your mother sounds like a very wise woman! :)

 
At August 23, 2005 at 10:17:00 AM EDT, Blogger torontopearl said...

Apparently your mother knows my father and mother! I've always been taught to say: "You're right," and leave it at that.

 
At August 23, 2005 at 11:19:00 AM EDT, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

A stoke of genius!

I do wonder what your thoughts are about one element though:
Can't it become manipulative? I agree that it's good to calm everyone down in middle of an argument, and that is a great technique - but if I use it to manipulate someone to my side is it not a little slimey? I remember reading Dale Carnegy's book once ("How to win friends and influence people"), and I've met people who live by that book (some who I have to deal with every day) and it just seems "icky." I'd rather know someone is being straight with me. What do you think?

 
At August 23, 2005 at 12:21:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thank you Pilot Mom and Pearl for your comments.

Chabakuk Elisha: Indeed it could become manipulative if the person's intent was using it to be deceptive, rather than using it to calm a heated situation or argument.

 
At August 24, 2005 at 3:54:00 PM EDT, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

In my house, the other person would say "AHA! NOW we're getting somewhere!"

 
At August 24, 2005 at 6:16:00 PM EDT, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

P.T.
:-)

 

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