We all know how frustrating it is to lose an argument -- especially when you believe strongly in the value of your idea. If you're going to get better at convincing others, you need to figure out why you lose arguments in the first place (and then avoid those mistakes in the future).

Most of the time, you can find a specific diagnosis for your lost arguments. Did you lose the argument because you relied on anecdotes to support your claim? Did you see the dispute in black and white instead of considering multiple possible conclusions? Did you mix up correlation and causation and end up digging yourself into a hole?

To help you identify what mistakes you might be making, check out the infographic below from The Visual Communication Guy. It lists 30 of the most common ways people lose arguments, and includes examples. Next time you're writing a persuasive email or trying to support your claim to your peers, you'll be able to reflect back on this guide. 


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Originally published Mar 17, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017