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Anger Indicates a Weak Point

 

Techniques General persuasion > The Art of Being Right > Anger Indicates a Weak Point

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Should your opponent surprise you by becoming particularly angry at an argument, you must urge it with all the more zeal; not only because it is a good thing to make him angry, but because it may be presumed that you have here put your finger on the weak side of his case, and that just here he is more open to attack than even for the moment you perceive.

Example

It makes you cross, eh? Sure it does. And how cross are you now? How cross? How cross? Damn right!! So let's not just talk about it -- let's figure out what we can do!!

That is awful. He did what to do you? You must be really angry! If I were you, I'd go around right now and tell him what's what.

Discussion

Anger is an emotion that changes people probably more than any other emotion and it is no surprise that some have to go to 'anger management' classes to help regain control. But anger in arguments can be useful as it is relatively easy to provoke decisions you need.

When people suddenly get angry, it can be a reaction to try to calm them down. A particularly effective method is to get angry with them. If you show sympathy for their anger, you can get close to them and then guide them to a useful response.

Even after the person has calmed down, you have useful information about what makes them angry and hence what may well be a weakness that you can leverage.

'Anger Indicates a Weak Point' is the twenty-seventh of Schopenhauer's stratagems.

See also

Anger, Arousal principle

 

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