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How Jordan Peterson Wins An Argument

How Jordan Peterson Wins An Argument


There’s a phenomenon of “destroy” videos
on Youtube, it seems that we love to watch people have meltdowns when they’re verbally
bested. Now we normally consider the person who did
the destroying to be the winner of those interactions. But there is different take which I want to
examine today in this video. And we’re going to be using Jordan Peterson
in his recent conversations with Sam Harris as an example. Now here is the problem in his own words,
Jordan: “you’re going to have contentious discussions about how to move forward, and
it’s very frequently the case that your words will be–that you’ll be straw-manned,
your words will be taken out of context, the other person, and you too, will try to win instead
of trying to solve the problem”. Winning an argument and even destroying the
other person isn’t the same as solving the problem. Worse, winning an argument can damage the
relationship if it isn’t done with tact. So in this video, we’re going to look at
five tips from Dr. Peterson on how you can win arguments without either person having
to get destroyed. Now to be clear, there are times when Jordan
is going to be more aggressive or defensive, and maybe I will do another video on those
type of point scoring debates if that’s something you’re interested in. But for now, the first tip that you need to
know is that you should begin most disagreements by delineating not where you differ, but where
you agree. Which is where Jordon started in his discussion
with Sam Harris in Vancouver, Jordan: “I thought what I might do, is just lay out some
places that I think Sam and I agree and because there’s lots of places we agree.” And in this next clip and you’re going to
see concretely how calling out areas of agreement can make someone more open to alternate viewpoints,
for context the student who’s asking the question is pointing out what he perceives
to be a potential hole in Jordan Peterson’s argument against hate speech laws. Watch how Jordon responds and notice how the
student begins to nod, Student: “Feel as if they can’t really engage in retaliatory
you know clarificatory discourse against them because they fear the potential repercussions,
even if they don’t lead to violence, they just fear it so much that it might irrationally
or rationally even drive them”, Jordan: ”Oh it happens, it happens all the time! In fact, it’s the standard situation, you
know if you look across the world…” Essentially Peterson spends the next two minutes
agreeing and expanding on the student’s point. Now the student nods through much of this
because Peterson is expanding on the issue that the student himself raised. The more that Jordan elaborates on the student’s
point, the more that he feels heard and understood. What’s interesting is that when Jordan then
lays out a perspective the student hasn’t considered before, the nodding continues,
Jordan: “And so the consequences of the regulation become, incalculably worse as a
problem than the problem that they were designed to deal with. To think otherwise is to think in this sort
of Utopian manner”. Now if Jordan just lept into what this student
had missed, that nodding probably would not have been there and more importantly, the
student would not have been open to a new idea. But in laying out the points of agreement
and expanding on the point of the person that you are speaking with, you actually create
more likely likelihood that they’re going to open up to other perspectives. When you’re trying to establish your points
of commonality or even you’re differences, you don’t actually know for certain if you
understand what the other person thinks. So what is best to speak in terms like these,
Jordan: “Okay so then, it also seems like we agree that the core element of tribal alliance,
which would have its roots in the Chimpanzee…” Jordan: “Well, you’re basically–what
you’ve basically stated, so far as I can tell, there would be a socio-culture agreement…” To be crystal clear you can’t just say “so
you’re saying” and then fill in the straw man argument, we saw how that turned out in
the other video we did on Jordan Peterson. You have to clarify the other person’s point
in a way that they would agree with. Now when this is done in good faith, there
is a profound difference between using the phrase “It seems like” and simply saying
“What you’re doing”. “It seems like” invites correction and
it comes from a desire to engage in a dialogue, rather than telling the other person what
logical leaps they’re making. I also mentioned the phrase it seems like
in our last video on tells that you’re dealing with an arrogant or person who is lacking
in confidence so if you want to know more of those go ahead click below to check that
video out. But you will eventually have to come to contentious
points of disagreement in your conversation in your conversation, it’s inevitable. And there is a number of ways to make your
stance clear without making the other person feeling attacked. You can begin, for instance, by establishing
your good intentions like this, Jordan: “What’s the–and I’m not trying to trap you here
I’m seriously not”. Jordan: “We’re on the same page there,
now but, what I noticed when you wrote the moral landscape, and I’m not trying to trap
you, you tell a story about…” It’s counter to instinct, but you need to
come back to this feeling of not wanting to trap the other person and you need to do it
often. When you say this congruently it diffuses
the core issue with most arguments, which is we so easily become identified with our
views, after all, they’re OUR views. So when those views are attacked and dismantled,
we as individuals feel attacked and dismantled. This does sound extreme but being trapped
in an argument can feel like being trapped by a predator. This brings us to point four, you need to
separate your ego and the other person’s ego from the views that you had when you entered
the discussion. This is hard! It means recognizing that your views aren’t
really yours. You picked them up from somewhere and you
can change them without losing an essential part of yourself. Non-identification with your opinions is a
huge topic that’s bigger than this video because it’s going to affect everything from
arguing, your general level of life satisfaction and many more things. But for the purpose of this video, make it
clear that you’re not attacking the person. You are merely disagreeing with a particular
perspective and here’s an excellent phrase to help you do that, Jordan: “The problem
I have with your argument, and this isn’t–I don’t mean that you’re wrong, I see what
you’re doing and I see why you’re doing it, and as far as I can tell is laudable. But the problem is, as far as I can tell,
there’s problems it doesn’t solve and there’s other problems it leaves unaddressed
that don’t have to be unsolved or unaddressed”. This is especially effective because deep
down people are terrified of being wrong, the existential feeling of being wrong for
the world is one of the deepest and most common human insecurities. That’s why we cling to our stuff, our identities
and our arguments. If they are right, we feel like we must be
right. So in saying that “I have an issue with
the argument” and by the way in saying “the argument” as opposed to “your argument”
is wise because in saying that you make it clear that you don’t think the individual
is tied to that argument. When you do that you’re saying that the
individual themselves isn’t wrong, you avoid triggering their ego and its defense mechanisms
and you hopefully keep things calm and productive. This is a pattern of validating the individual,
and the same pattern is going to play it with specific objections that they might raise
up against your points like this, Sam: “Then there must be a deeper level of reality that
explains why they both work that can’t be reducible to Christianity being true or being
Hinduism being true.” Jordan: “Yeah that’s–look Sam that’s
a–there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that objection.” And you’ll make the other person feel understood
and open to change by noting your own willingness to reconsider your own opinions, like this, Jordan:
“One of the things that I’ve been re-considering since we talked last night, is the nature
of our dispute about the relationship between…” but rather than belabor these points let me
make one larger distinction that ties them all together. In order to win in any argument, the best
thing you can do is not identify with “your perspective”. Instead realize that you are improved on your
deeply held perspectives are challenged to the point of breaking and even when the person
you’re talking isn’t so nice about it, Jordan: “And so one of the things you have
to remember when you’re discussing things with people, even if they’re out to defeat
you let’s say, is that there is some glimmering of the possibility that you could walk away
with more knowledge that you walked in with, and that’s worth–that can be worth paying
quite a price for”. Actually internalizing the mindset is a massive
undertaking, meditation helps, even so, you’re likely to slip back into defending your ego
attachments, it’s part of being human. But If you can manage to try to have to conversation
with a truly curious mentality the relationship will go better, you’re going to be more
likely to be persuasive if you raise valid points and you just might learn something. So if you take only one thing from this video
before enduring your next argument, discussion, debate, whatever you like to call it. I’d advise it to be this, ask yourself “Do
I want to be BE RIGHT? Or do I want to do what it takes to GET IT
RIGHT?”. You might not destroy anyone with that mentality
but you’re going to win the argument because you’re going to walk away with a clearer
understanding of the truth. Now I think a huge reason that Jordan is capable
of being so calm during these interactions is that of his time as a clinician, he learned
to listen and help people who often feel attacked. If you feel like you often don’t get the
chance to speak to people who genuinely just listen without an agenda to defeat, trap,
or impose their view of how you should live on you, you might find our sponsor BetterHelp
useful. Now, this is something that I’ve recommended
to friends I’ve actually used it myself, and I think that the opportunity to speak
with a professional counselor can be very useful, which is what BetterHelp does. So if you have issues that you think would
be useful to discuss with a professional, with BetterHelp you can actually do that from
home. You don’t have to drive to an office, you
don’t have to worry about how many other people who are hanging out in the lobby. You can just chat with someone from your home
or work and begin to make progress in an area where you may be stuck. So if that sounds something that would be
useful to you, you can use the link: BETTERHELP.COM/CHARISMA to begin today. You’re going to go through a questionnaire
that is meant to pair you with someone who is specifically equipped to help you with
whatever it is that you are facing whether that’s family issues, addiction, you name
it. So I know that a lot of people have some stigma
associated with counseling but this something that I truly believe can be valuable for people
who are stuck at some point in their life or would just really like a professional to
listen and help them work through any particular problem. So I hope that you enjoyed this video, if
you are interested in BetterHelp, go ahead click below and check that link out and I
look forward to seeing you in the next one. Actually, I forgot, one other thing, if you
want to see that video on debates that might be more point scoring televised, feel free
to let me know in the comments. I’m not definitely going to do it because
it’s not a situation that we often find ourselves in, but if it’s one you’re interested
in go ahead and let me know in the comments and maybe I can do it. Take care!

100 thoughts on “How Jordan Peterson Wins An Argument

  1. Personally what I have seen in life is that people who tend to win the arguments are the ones who remained emotionally calm while the ones who lose arguments are the ones who cannot control themselves or their emotions.

  2. Peterson is a master manipulator. He says something with no methodological backing, vague enough so that it can be moral and immoral depending on the viewpoint, ready to play the victim card.

  3. Reframing arguments as learning opportunities rather than verbal boxing matches is a gamechanger. Actually, I just used this mindset around an hour ago, talking to my grandfather, with who I have an expansive history of conflicts with, and I loved the results. Not only the results, how I felt about my level of sensibility!

  4. I LOVE that you took Peterson's approach to the stakes of debating, because he (in most cases) debates ideas and not people. He never "destroys" people, not even when he gets frustrated. It is an exceptional attitude that deserves this kind of attention, well done.

  5. Do one about Christopher Hitchens please! He’s one of the most witty, charismatic, and knowledgeable debaters of our time and was widely respected even by the people who hated him. I think he’d be a perfect person to do a video of.

  6. He definitely didn't win against Sam Harris :/ you're just pinpointing bits from that debate in which he hadn't even finished his idea.

  7. The tittle of the video is how to WIN an arqument, yet the final point is to not think of any arqument as a game/ fight to win or lose rather as an opportunity to lern more.

  8. Dr.petterson wins so much because he understands something fundamental about debate, that it's not about winners or losers

  9. How do you agree with someone that accuse you of saying something that was not said? With eye witnesses to validate my mouth was shut, and they too are getting high rate because of lies! Am I dealing with a paranoid head case?

  10. Good video, but if you watch his all 4 debates vs Sam Harris you can see that he didn't was dominant or won against him. There are a lot of things that Jordan Peterson did wrong. He attacked, he got mad, avoided direct questions, etc.

  11. I have listened from audio book I forgot who (molts likely Jim Rohn) on teaching your child. When your kid did something wrong tell him/her, I hate the (whatever bad) stuff you did or lied, but I still love you. Hate the idea but love the person.

  12. Jordan Peterson doesn't destroy people or dismantle them or kill them he just calmly makes them think about their choices, maybe gets them fired or whatever and is extremely polite and nice about it what a guy

  13. I always knew I was good at debate, but I could never pinpoint why until I watched this video. I use all of these strategies when I'm debating (or arguing) with someone.

  14. I want to watch a video about separating identity from opinion. @5:21. I get too emotional about my opinions and I need to figure it out.

  15. Jordan Peterson is an intellectual black hole (not a compliment). Watch his discussion with Sam Harris about truth claims. I've never witnessed such mental and linguistic acrobatics in my life.

  16. The latest debate between Jordand and Harris, Jordan clearly lost. He had no better argument than harris

  17. Jordan Peterson is really smart, he should definitely debate Richard Wolff and or Nathan J. Robinson

  18. The most common fear around the world is the fear of the unknown. This is why I think people build their defenses before it even happens and get scared to embrace vulnerability.

  19. Peterson like Shapiro are skilled communicators however that is not why they win debates….they generally win when people take the time to listen as they are both usually right

  20. Mark Twain was very good at using this type of reaction. In debates he would say "it is a mistake!" rather than "YOU are wrong."

  21. Interesting how you are discussing how to win people over with vacuous and bad arguments (which is what Peterson does), rather than whether there is any merit to what he is saying.
    I think the Greeks used to refer to this as "sophistry"

  22. What's ironically funny about this video is that Jordan Peterson has also since acknowledged Sam Harris's superiority in debates and called him "Way above average."

  23. The video title, thumbnail, and the disproportionate number of video clips, all subtlety imbue viewers with the pre-conception that Jordan had stronger logical arguments than Sam Harris. I wonder how many people viewing this without seeing the original, concluded that Jordan won the debate against Harris?

    Note that this video doesn't even attempt to cover the content of their discussions, let alone delve into the nuances of their perspectives, nor how logically sound their arguments are. After all, this is not a logic or moral philosophy channel.

    What this video does explain are some of the professional and agreeable approaches Jordan employs in his debate conduct. These are emotional queues and tricks to help those debates stay productive instead of combative. (Btw, many of those same tactics are used by Harris.)

    When engaging in your own debates, be aware of this technique. Someone may start from an unearned premise, or steer the debate into subtly different territory than it seems to begin.

  24. One thing I notice is that if he can help it he very much avoids stating directly what he believes if it can be avoided he's very careful with those words.

  25. Of course,,, winning an argument is not "solving a particular problem" every time,,,, BUT,,,, you have to win the argument when you are arguing against pure EMOTIONALLY BASED FALLACY!!! And THAT SOLVES MANY PROBLEMS OF INCORRECT REASONING,,,,Of which THAT is probably THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH ALL THOSE ON THE LEFT!!! That is why it's so hard to even find an opponent willing to take the left position ON ANY ISSUE AT ALL!!!!

  26. I love this video. I've noticed that some of these are traits I already have, but most of these are certainly useful. Separating others from their arguments is certainly something I personally could have used in a multitude of arguments that I have had in the past.

  27. "do i want to be right" or "do i want to do what it takes to get it right" well if you already are right, why would you do what it takes to get it right? option 1 is the more logical. this is like saying "do i want to be a lake" or "do i want to do what it takes to be a lake" the second option is meaningless

  28. The are some moments in this video where I just thought that where is the button where I can press like multiple times 👏🏼👏🏼 great work here.

  29. This video is so important. This channel is important. I really can't thank everyone in this community enough. My mind has really been opened and I have found a way to articulate my thoughts and say exactly what I mean and tell people exactly how I feel, with no excessive aggression. I can't give this channel enough praise

  30. You should not want to win an argument you should be open your self to learn from others. Every human encounter has a message for you. Everybody is a teacher.

  31. I realy feel uncofortable watching your chanal I don't know why yet. Jordan Peterson makes me feel uncofortable too. He has little mimic, and a lot of body tention, witch to me looks like someone have truble being conected to his emotions.

    That to me is a sign of little authenticaty and that makes wonder. It looks like people trying to use knowlege to manipulat.

    The language used is sometimes giving me the chills, it sounds like war. It's about wining and enemys. …

    It's a patriarchel language and I think it's time for a better culture of leadership and communication.

  32. ……duh……
    Answer: he doesn’t

    And the reason why?
    Beside him in the thumb nail

    You dudes are powerfully self deceived if you think Jordan Peterson ever came within 93,000,000 miles of beating Sam Harris in a debate

    Give me a fuckin break dude
    Give yourself one too, ffs

  33. This is wonderful stuff. I have been thinking lately about how it seems to me that in our political system the person to be elected is the one who is better at "besting" their opponents in a debate rather then the person who is more skilled at governance or has more effective policy ideas, not that the 2 are mutually exclusive. Is this something that may be worth exploring in a video?

  34. Had hoped you did more videoes on the Jordan and Sam Harris debates.
    In a previous video, you showe how Jordan sat back calm, collected, and the other person, which felt like they were losing, were leaning in. That is pretty much what Jordan did all three debates against Sam.
    A lot of your tips, tricks and tells were "used" in those discussions, only that Jordan was the one doing all the tells.
    And the regular avoiding answering questions routine.
    He answers questions with different answers depending on the audience, which is what turned me off from him.
    "I do believe in the christian God!"
    Against Sam Harris: "I do not believe in the christian God as most people believe in it"
    It took away all of his credibility.

  35. When in a argument I found something what’s works great, it’s called feel felt found, and it goes like this. I understand how you feel I’ve felt that same way however what I found was, and then lay out your findings and people really respect what I’ve said and start agreeing with me.

  36. You assert in this video that your views do not define you, but I couldn't disagree more. One's views on morality and outlook on life is perhaps the single most defining factor one has, and I know that when I've undergone serious changes in my views I've changed drastically as a person

  37. The thing is – if the other side is not just stubbornly but also maliciously pointed against you, then they will not listen to you and will try to humiliate you even when they keep failing. Because they dont really care about the argument, they only care about themselves. The thing is – Jordan didn't have a chance to talk to people like that. People like that usually simply refuse to have the argument beforehand and only talk to people they agree with from the get go.

  38. Not identifying oneself with an argument is a great idea…and directly contradicts the idea that one's identity creates one's arguments: "As a (insert minority group here) I think that x is true."

  39. This is quite fascinating because the first tip relates to quranic vs where Allah says come to common terms between us and you. To be bring people closer to him

  40. I love listening to JBP and I think he’s one of the great orators of our time but Sam Harris ‘won’ this debate by logic and reason. It’s a good listen though!

  41. He is a psychology professor. The burden of messing up the other people is heavy. It can backfire both in belief and career.

  42. I think he wins so often because he's already thought through his opinions and doesn't try to hide controversial ones. Every common point people make is something he had already thought of because he isn't afraid to challenge himself to find what he agrees with.

  43. It is unavoidable and must be mentioned that Jordan Peterson's points are more thought out and vetted and simply unassailable than anyone that would step to him.

  44. I can't see how embarrassing Jordan with his pathetic effort in comprehending Sam Harris's superior command of the psychological process, can prove as an asset to winning a logical arguement. Jordan is an inept pupil in the rigors of human emotional ignorance and our virtual reality as conscious observers.

  45. If I could teach one thing it would be “You are not your beliefs and those who oppose your beliefs alone are not against you”. Glad you pointed out how big a topic that is

  46. So let me get this straight: in order to win an argument, you have to not want to win the argument? Doesn't this approach imply that you actually do want to win the argument, because you're concerned about how to win an argument?

    I'm looking at this as a video about winning an argument, which uses Dr. Peterson as an example, and features him clearly stating that you should not aim at winning arguments.

  47. I watched most of the video thinking of it as an informative work but towards the end it turned out to be a simple sneaky advertising. Pathetic. 09:08

  48. most people don't realise that by being wrong comes the opportunity to learn something new… assuming that you're right in a debate and action has to be taken on that,what happens when that action produces an undesirable result….you get the blame….hence, it doesn't always pay to be right

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