How To Avoid Embarrassing Yourself In An Argument – Jordan Peterson

How To Avoid Embarrassing Yourself In An Argument  – Jordan Peterson

We’ve all found ourselves in conversation and felt attacked like we started off talking about one thing and then the other person twisted our words and before we knew it, we lost our cool,
lost respect in their eyes, and maybe even acted like a jerk. Now, I don’t normally do the same person twice in a row but this interview between Cathy Newman and Jordan Peterson was just too interesting of an opportunity to discuss how you can handle someone who uses subtle conversational tricks to bully you into looking dumb. So in this video, you’re gonna see firsthand some of the most common tricks that people might be using on you and you’re also gonna learn how to reverse those so that you can walk out of a kind of aggressive situation having earned more respect than you had going in. So first off, to stop a conversational bully, you have to realize what’s going on before it’s too late. Now, typically, a person will reveal their aggressive attitude early on with their tone of voice and their word choice — kind of like this — …but I wasn’t specifically aiming this message at young men to begin with; it just kind of turned out that way but— And it’s mostly, you admit, it’s mostly men listening. In this case, Cathy is indicating very clearly that
she thinks Jordan has done something wrong. Otherwise, why would she use the word “admit?” She makes her stance clear a moment later when she implies
that he should be bothered for being divisive. Just watch. Does it bother you that your audience is predominantly male? Is that a bit divisive? The point here is that even when they’re being passive-aggressive, people will often indicate that they’re about to attack you before they actually do. So if you hear someone say something like, “Well, what do you have to say for yourself?” be prepared. That person thinks that you’ve done something wrong and you need to be very careful what you say next not because you did do something wrong but because a conversational bully may be trying to trap you into saying something that you disagree with so that they can attack that straw man. And the first way that this often happens is called
the “so-you’re-saying trap.” Here’s what it looks like. So you’re saying women have some sort of
duty to sort of help fix the crisis of masculinity? Women want to dominate — is that what you’re saying? So you’re saying that anyone who believes in equality whether
you call them feminists or whatever you want to call them should basically give up because “it ain’t gonna happen.” Let me just get this straight; you’re saying that we should
organize our societies along the lines of the lobsters. The general pattern here is that someone says, “So you’re saying…” and then proceeds to oversimplify or mischaracterize what you actually said. I won’t spend too long here because it’s very easy to spot and it’s rather simple to avoid and get around by saying, “Well, actually, what I was saying is…” and then repeat yourself. …along the lines of the lobsters. I’m saying that it’s inevitable that there will be continuity in the way that animals and human beings organize their structures. But there’s a much sneakier way that people may
mischaracterize your beliefs and then attack them. Basically, it’s when someone’s words imply that you
believe something you don’t and they don’t actually say it. So in business, they call this “assuming the sale” like when a car salesman says, “So would you like that with the leather interior or with the
fabric interior?” before you even decided to buy the car. Now, with the several thousand dollar purchase, you’re likely to notice this and say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Who said I was buying in the first place?” But it’s very likely that this is happening to you in conversation
all the time and you don’t even notice. Here’s how it might look. [Cathy talks over Jordan] Yeah, but why?
Why should woman put up with those reasons? Embedding the question “why should women put up with it?”
are several important presuppositions; namely — one, that there is something to put up with and two,
that Jordan thinks woman should put up with it. Now, the trap here for Jordan would be to answer Cathy’s question directly and many of us fall into it in similar situations then we start arguing for things that we don’t even really believe just out of habit. Instead, you need to identify that hidden presupposition and then call it out. So watch how carefully Jordan listens to Cathy’s questions so that he can catch what she’s not saying. “Why should women put up with it?” I’m not saying they
should put up with it. I’m saying that the claim— Here’s another example of assuming-the-sale from later in that conversation. See if you can spot the hidden presupposition and
ask yourself what you might say to respond to it. …which women do a lot of. But why shouldn’t women have the right to choose not to have children? So what’s the hidden presupposition — that Jordan thinks women must have children. And of course,
he defends a woman’s right to make any decision about that. …the right to choose and demand it, correct? They do. They can. Yeah, that’s fine. But you’re saying that makes them unhappy. Here’s one more example. See if you can spot the hidden presupposition here. [Cathy talks over Jordan] So you want to say to your
followers now, “Quit the abuse. Quit the anger.” Did you catch it? The presupposition is that Jordan’s followers are abusing people. Now, he can’t answer that question directly; he has
to address that hidden point first and he does. Well, we’d need some substantial examples of the abuse
and the anger before I could detail that question. There’s a lot of it out there. When I cut the clips like this, it makes it very easy to see these
hidden presuppositions but in real time, this can be difficult. One simple thing that you can do to make it easier on yourself is to purposely assume a relaxed posture as Jordan does throughout this entire conversation. Now, this posture actually helps you to think less frantically because your body is signalling to your brain that everything is okay; you’re in control. You’ll also want to give yourself some time to pause after each question which Jordan definitely does. In addition, you’re going to want to study up on frames and frame games because there’s a clearly a whole level of conversation that is going on behind the words. Now, I’ve talked about this in other videos specifically the one on Tyrion Lanister from Game of Thrones and I’ll leave a link to that in the description if you want to check it out. Moving along though, the last clip contains a small
example of the third conversational bully tactic in this video which I’m naming the “smash technique.” Take a look. [Cathy talks over Jordan] So you want to say to your
followers now, “Quit the abuse. Quit the anger.” It’s subtle here but Cathy smashes together
two very different terms — abuse and anger. Now, by ending on anger, it would be easier for
Jordan to just forget it and answer the question. But that would tacitly accept that his followers were abusing people. That’s why the smash technique is so frustrating; people are
embedding hidden statements that you actually disagree with and then moving through them before you have the time to voice that disagreement. You may also have seen people barrage you with questions just to overwhelm you into having to accept their points like this — …otherwise, why would that only be seven women
running FTSE 100 companies in the UK? Why would there still be a pay gap… [Jordan talks over Cathy] Why are women at the BBC saying that they’re getting paid illegally less than men— It can be easy to get overwhelmed and to lose focus as you try to answer all of these questions but with the smash technique in general, the best policy is to slow down the tempo of conversation and tackle one question or one point at a time. Let’s just go to the first question; those both are complicated questions. So hopefully, now you’re more aware of the so-you’re-saying trap when people “assume the sale” and of course, the smash technique. This moves us to the second section of this video which is how to persuade someone in these kinds of situations. And I will say, it seems to me that it doesn’t look like Jordan is necessarily trying to change Cathy’s mind but simply to debate in front of an audience. There are still some valuable tips to be gleamed
from this video and a few things that I’d add First, do not straw man the other person’s ideas even if they’re doing it to you. And to be clear, I don’t know if I mentioned this, straw manning is when you create a caricature of their ideas
and then attack those rather than what they truly believe. Instead, show the other person that you are truly engaging in their real points, attempt to understand them, and sometimes this mean that
you have to ask them to repeat themselves so that you can. Seven? Seven women… repeat that one— Seven women running the top FTSE 100 companies in the UK. Well, the first question might be. After you’ve made an honest attempt to understand them, you need to make sure that they can understand you which is necessary for persuasion. And to do that, you often have to use the visual imagery. For instance, here’s a very abstract point without any images that Jordan makes. …that it’s inevitable that there will be continuity in the way
that animals and human beings organize their structures. It’s absolutely inevitable. And there is one-third of
a billion years of evolutionary history behind that. Now, maybe you can understand that but it kind of lacks any emotional oomph. But notice how the addition of a concrete example
makes that one-third of a billion years just feel different. That’s so long that a third of a billion years ago,
there weren’t even trees; it’s a long time. So adding concrete examples especially ones that people can easily imagine is a smart persuasive move and lastly, when you’re arguing, oftentimes the best way to get someone to change their position is not by changing their mind but by gently showing them that they are already agreeing with you. I talked about this in the frame video but here’s an example from this interview. Why should your rights to freedom of speech
trump a trans-person’s right not to be offended? Because in order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive. I mean, look at the conversation we’re having right now. You know, like, you’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth. Why should you have the right to do that? It’s been rather uncomfortable. This is huge. Jordan is no longer arguing that her point is wrong; he’s arguing that she already agrees with him —
her behavior and her previous statements demonstrate that she cares more about free speech than not offending people. And then Jordan doesn’t try to make this point wrong;
he shows her how they’re actually very much in alignment. You’re doing what you should do which is
digging a bit to see what the hell’s going on. And I gave you what you should do but you’re exercising
your freedom of speech to certainly risk offending me. And that’s fine. I think — more power to you as far as I’m concerned. And then of course Cathy feels stumped because she
does actually agree with Jordan and she’s proven it herself. People have a strong desire to remain consistent with things they’ve already said and done so oftentimes, this becomes one of the few ways to persuade someone who’s really dug in their heels. You’re basically showing them that they don’t have to move in order to agree with you; they already do right where they’re dug in. And then of course, Jordan hits her with the “gotcha.” …uh, and… [sighs] I’m just trying to work that out but I mean… [sighs] Jordan: Hah. Gotcha.
Cathy: You have got me. You have got me. Even though I laughed at that phrase at the time I was watching the interview, I have to say that last bit “gotcha” does not improve Jordan’s persuasive case. It actually makes Cathy feel silly and wrong as opposed to happy to discover that she and Jordan are really on the same team all along and if I had to give one last point of constructive criticism, it would be that Jordan answered all of Cathy’s questions rather than trying to proactively address her deeper unstated emotional concern. And in my opinion, that emotional concern is that Jordan is her enemy — that if he believes something, it must be against her interests. If Jordan could have found that and pointed to a more common ground that they share which we all of course have, I don’t think the interview would have continued in such an argumentative fashion but Jordan’s role isn’t necessarily to convince Cathy Newman of anything — it’s to debate for an audience and to promote his book which I think he did at an A+ level. If you think that I missed something or you just want to discuss, leave a comment below. I’m actually to be checking periodically but I will be most active in the comments for that first hour after the video goes live which is now 2 p.m. Eastern on Mondays so hit subscribe and hit the notification bell to make sure that you’re notified when I am here and chatting. That way you can hop on if you want to discuss anything with me or if you have a question that you’d like to ask. I also think that this video makes a very strong companion for both the Tyrion video that I mentioned about frames which are super interesting and the previous Jordan Peterson video which will teach you how to get respect without being a bully so click the screen if you want to check either of those out. Hopefully, you guys enjoyed this video and I will see you in the next one.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. 1:49 Jordan Peterson deals with so-you're-saying trap

    2:39 Jordan Peterson deals with the "assuming the sale"

    5:30 Jordan Peterson deals with the smash technique

    7:08 But don't straw man the other person's ideas though

    7:47 And visual imagery can also help

    8:25 You can show them that they're already agreeing with you

  2. Who was around to know 300,000,000 years ago if we had trees or not? If we didn't have trees, what else was alive? Speculate all you want, it's all gibberish.

  3. Look his attitude when he thinks he is being pressured away from his perception of someone’s responses…..”He gives false statements appearing real” such-as “half a billion years ago there were no trees? !! This is what he does when he is getting ruffled while he struggles to remain calm over his internal selfish assertions…drawing conclusions before extracting relevant opinions from the so called adversaries, in his world! In the conversation one false or presumed truth about trees? Not sure if that is a truth or assertion from the scientific community, which because it is Science can And is expected to change scientific opinions, sides, or strategies at Will. The sun goes around the Earth appears to still come to mind….Never mind that though….Jordan presumes he is right…which is impossible because right is a direction…perhaps “correct” should be substituted for “right” No, that is not right! Correct! Should be substituted for right…I think that is correct. And that coerciveness goes on and on. I can still continue without it affecting my own self esteem, by not showing aggression about my opinion of your opinion. Thank you. RDR

  4. I always open with a strawman before debating someone, you can gauge their skill and knowledge level with it. If they cannot deflect a simple strawman, you know the person is not well prepared for the conversation.

  5. I have a pat answer to the moments when people try to attack my character. I simply say, "I don't have to explain myself to you.", and I leave it at that. People are under the false pretense that everyone has to like them. I don't live my life that way.

  6. You can tell she hates his guts. Probably all men with any balls. A good example of a feminazi given power to interview on television.

  7. Jordan Peterson showed us how far gone main stream is…. And I am very thankful for this interview. It sure wakes people up to the insanity we are being fed daily. He handled it brilliantly!

  8. Really a fan of this channel. Love your messages and peaks into how to deal with uncomfortable situations.

  9. Most of this stuff I already do but for those who aren’t so good with debates this is a great video. You found a video of an actual debate to show what a debate might entail.

  10. No call her out for using this technique! And bring it to the audiences attention that she is using this technique so she loses.

  11. Freedom of speech is offending other people! That’s why it trumps your right to not be offended. I know neither of them are American but nowhere in the bill of rights does it say you have right to not be offended!

  12. About a hundred percent of conversation at work happen in this manner like when I’m asked to present some sort of development that served us well (assessed by colleagues and management) the conversation during the presentation usually starts like “what do you have to say for yourself”.
    This passive aggressiveness became so intrinsic that it’s almost inevitable that you will be attacked from the most weird possible angle.

  13. Jordan did look back on the “gotya” statement and say he should not have used it. I of course loved it because they do it to us all the time. Nevertheless great video.

  14. She's not seeking truth, she's seeking to be right, and using manipulation to do it. In conclusion: she's a dishonest person that's trying to alter reality to be what she wants it to be.

  15. Poor Kathy Newman, to be full of arguments for her said cause, without a reasonable purpose in demonstrating vetted logic to present the case for them…

  16. Another point of support to who how Peterson expresses himself is he is a gentleman, who remains resolute to be such, under fire from a feminist who finds his expression, reprehensible. He could have fought fire with fire and brought her to tears–but, his compassion for the less wise, is the weapon of choice to strike her with a kind posture.

  17. This is how it's like to talk to my mom. Complete attacker all the time. I think she needs mental help.

  18. Just tell the interviewer: "Are you wanting me to answer, or do you just want to impose your perspective and just talk over me and not understand anything, because you have your opinion? Maybe I'm right, maybe your right. We'll never know if we don't think and talk this out." Logic defeats arguments Everytime! Lol

  19. Why I didn't see this when it was released, ugh! But well, I always wanted to make an analysis over this debate and then make a video about my observations but, wow! I couldn't have done a better job than this. Thank you very much for this video, honestly.

  20. I agree it made her feel wrong but he was pointing that out to make sure she felt it. It was not to hurt her. It was to help everyone understand.

  21. You definitely need to relax internally when someone is hurling all those suppositions at you. Conversely what kind of person should you be to bring the conversation to this level of simply throwing suppositions at the other guy?

  22. Men these days want a good woman to married and to be loved but because of feminism agenda today going up against men in every way men drop marriage altogether and go along with the system because they do not have a choice but they do we as men all over the world needs to take back what is rightfully ours and make these evil feminists agendas go to hell where it belongs

  23. 8:45. Is there really such a thing as a 'right not to be offended'? Is this a joke or is she serious? I really can't tell and hope that the former is the case

  24. understandably you're not a fan of the interviewer, but a bit of a shame it's made clear with the awkward face captures and subtle tone. kinda like his "gotcha". could've been a perfectly objective take on the matter as it was suggested

  25. these kinds of video's make me howl with laughter…I'd get on this kids last nerve and have him ripping his teeth out in five minutes.

  26. How To Avoid Embarrassing Yourself In An Argument?

    I just eat meat – constantly.
    And never, ever, ever, ever drink cider.

    That's also my plan for eternal life.

  27. accidentally entered into this site ,but I am surprised why i missed it. Anyway pls let me guide where did it started ,i wnt to view all of it

  28. Being aggressive and rude .. or being PERCEIVED to be that way .. mostly gets a person NOWHERE fast. People have an automatic "back against the wall" response when facing the aggressive and rude ones out there. Instead, make a person feel comfortable, valuable, that their opinion matters, let them talk their way into their own hole! How we perceive people is half the problem .. some may see you as bossy, know-it-all, pushy .. while others value you as a leader, sharing your wisdom and working hard to get a result.

  29. When I see an out-of-hand argument starting to bloom, I usually fall back on my old standard, "Excuse me, but before we continue, did you want this to be a five minute argument or the complete half hour course?". I'll always be indebted to Monty Python for that.

  30. Another technique for deflecting conversational bullies is often attributed to Jewish people: answer a question with a question. If there's animosity on the other side, that often helps it to wear away at them.

  31. I don't think Cathy should be mocked for showing the willingness to be flexible at reevaluating her approach.
    This, unlike the low level manipulative circus you see on some 'news' channels, looks like it was a nice setup for a calm conversation (for those who are evolved enough to have it), even though there was manipulation involved here, as you pointed out.

    There are however, instances where having a nonaggressive and calm conversation (at least to my current level of thinking), does not seem like an option.

    No one (man or woman), should feel too bad about getting angry sometimes if they have a strong enough understanding to represent a Just Cause.

    Balance giving anger and aggression is just as important of a component as calm thoughtfulness, in the progress of human societies.

  32. I love that you included this interview on your channel…..Jordan destroys her in every facet of her malicious angles that she fires literally in the entire interview.

  33. I think you should do a video on being the person who uses the smash technique etc. And why people do it without planning

  34. I understand your point about the "gotcha" being somewhat sabotage to finding common ground, but Cathy Newman had zero intention on arriving to common ground with Peterson. That's something you have to understand about leftists, they've already demonized conservatives and some centrists – their goal is now to humiliate or punish them. Some people are lost causes and if she wasn't going to stop her dishonest interview 15 minutes in, she wasn't ever.

  35. Cathy is a not terribly clever feminist misandrist. She's always looking to the imaginary glass ceiling rather than to the totally real glass cellar – where men create her comfortable lifestyle. She quotes the Wage Gap – which has been debunked as an act of sexism by the Office for National Statistics no less, and she has a distressing 1980s hairdo. I don't like her.

  36. Important things to note when trying to communicate with someone:
    What you say and what you mean by why you say can be misaligned. Align these first.
    Then pay attention to make sure that what you said is not misinterpreted by the other person. This way there is full alignment and you are actually communicating with the other person. Ask the person what their definition of the subject matter is before you start talking about it! Debates could be so much shorter and peaceful if people could get this right. When people have very drastically different paradigms or belief systems this is particularly important.
    Even when someone asks you a question, break it down and try to think of what they actually mean by it (hopefully they have already aligned that) or their agenda behind it if there is one. Then stop them and question them first about it before moving on.

  37. The mistake you're making is you're assuming that she is arguing in good faith. She's not. That's what you need to understand about most Leftists/feminists. Most of their ideology is based around intellectual subversion, not logic. It took me over a dozen years to figure this out.

  38. She deserved to feel silly and wrong – she needed to learn a lesson

    And he actually said he regretted the ha gotcha but was in the moment

  39. Well i think the "gotcha" was simply a little handslap from a very, very tired JP. Just think about he getting asked "so you say that we should organize our society as the lobsters do". I understand that the patience should be paramount in verbal duel (or any duel for that) but also a bit of aggression is just normal, as a way of "stop making me do mental gymnastics just to talk".

  40. He should have just apologized for thinking-speaking or even breathing. It works for me when debating with my wife. All fun aside I just watched a master handle a bitter or in better words jealous-aggresive feminist woman and put her in place. He doesnt promote men but all people to get better-stronger-healthier. That is what feminist-trangender people hate.

  41. And instead of letting us watch what they say you being the hack decided that your voice is more important than us determining what they say is wrong. I get it you have a god complex.

  42. The Channel 4 news presenters are told and trained to have this aggressive and disagreeable approach to their interviewees. So I disagree with the last point of the video regarding Cathy's emotional concern because there genuinely isn't any. It's a silly performance designed to get people's attention. We don't actually know what her true beliefs are, only her skilful disagreeable behaviour coming from a superficial level from shots of information gathered by Channel 4 researchers. The interview lacked depth due to poor interviewing however it displayed Jordan's brilliant skills in handling disagreeable behaviour. Overall it is a beneficial watch for that reason.

  43. so basically what you are saying….
    know your facts
    know what you believe
    know what you are saying
    know what is asked
    respond to questions with all the above in mind.

    finally thank you for explaining the "strawmanning" principle.

  44. if you find yourself justifying your behaviour or topic that should be the trigger that then says take control of the conversation but not overtly, Jordan takes his time in answering questions the trap here is that you launch in boots and all mistakes are made on the run so count to ten silently then take you time to answer quietly but firmly and to the point no more or no less if you expand on the subject it's just more ammunition for the "angry one", if really cornered and you'll know it from the others non verbal behaviour "agree to disagree" and watch the wind vanish from the sails, politely smile thank them for the conversation and leave and dont turn to look back in that action you have taken control and ended the conversation and survived intact. The other is to ask or respond with "open ended answers or questions " these require the "angry one" to question their research and material and doubt either or each you'll notice that "Kathy" is asking "closed end" questions in trying to trap Jordan these require either yes or no upon which "Kathy" adds more material to the next question. Kathy's is also attempting to "transfer her anger" without Jordan sensing it but winding him up to where it's a full on stand up shouting match which she then claims that all men are violent and living in the dark ages and validates the feminist narrative if you ever meet someone and after the meeting feel angry for no apparent reason think about what they said and their non verb behaviour most of the time it's very negative and invading your personal space in doing so but they are now happy that you'll have a crap day ahead of you.

  45. The most interesting thing you said came in towards the end of the video. When you asked people to subscribe you said something I’ve never heard any other YouTuber say. You said that you are active in the comments for the first hour after you post the video. So if anyone would like feedback on their comments or a chance to interact they should subscribe and hit the bell notification so they don’t miss that opportunity. You gave people a reason to subscribe other than for your content for your financial concerns. The second someone says SMASH that like button and head on over to Patreon I ignore her completely. Genius ?

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