Part of a series on arguing.
You need to know what why you are arguing and what you want out of the interaction
Fundamental to doing your best at anything in life is knowing what you are doing and maybe why you are doing it. This applies arguing because if you don’t know what you want out of the situation, you’re just going to give the other person what they ask for, usually after a dispassionate defense from their verbal onslaught. If you don’t know what you want, you get what you get.
Every goal you have every achieved started off as a something impossible, a clearly defined and measurable objective, sometimes with a do by date. Once you create it, your brain and body set out to make it happen. This is the way human beings achieve things. In exactly the same but entirely opposite way that you are not setting an argument goal in your head and letting your powerful brain figure-out what to say to create a compelling case to win, person who is going to argue with you next has and is doing these things.
The chronic arguer is working on these things all the time, so if you end up talking to them, there’s a good chance that what will come-out of their mouth will be manipulative and calculated. Unless you want to argue with them, set the goal of getting out of the conversation as quickly as possible. Create a couple of fixed responses and fire them out whenever you are being engaged – “sorry, I have to check on my kids / parents / pet stocks quote, etc…” or “that is an interesting point of view but don’t have time right now, I have to go.
If you do want to argue with them make sure you know what you are fighting about. If it’s a ongoing thing, you are not arguing to change someone’s point of view (if this was possible it would have happened by now), you are arguing to change someones reality (unless their world changes they are not going to change). Make sure you know what that is before you set out making it happen.
It is important you look out for your best interests. Knowing what these things are before having to defend them will go a long way in guarding yourself from manipulative people. When someone engages you in an attempt to change your point of view take a moment to figure-out what you want out of the interaction and work diligently to achieve it.