Let them win!

Cynical summary: look smart by letting them win

I once wrote a story about how you can get more out of trying to get as wet as possible in the rain, rather than futilely try to stay dry.

In the same vein, I recommend you actively search for arguments you can lose (and execute on those), in order to make friends and influence people long term, rather than just try to win the occasional ad hoc party conversation to feel good in the moment.

A few simple tips for handling arguments, and winning friends and influencing people, at, e.g., parties

How?: Simply let them win whatever discussion or argument you’re having. Their winning is not the same as you losing. The truth is still what it is.

Or are you too hot-headed (dare I say stupid) for that?

Check out my substack if you liked this post

Admit you are wrong

Do it swiftly and sincerely – with a smile

Actually, do it even if you aren’t sure you’re wrong, or if it’s kind of a close call.

If you happen to be unequivocally right, the truth will reveal itself sooner or later. But you will never get the chance to correct the revolting know-it-all image you projected if you couldn’t admit your mistake.

If you want to be strategic about it, here is level 2:

Let yourself be won over 

There is nothing the other part in a conversation wants more than to persuade you with his or her clever arguments and rhetoric.

Let it happen.

If they are wrong, the worst thing that could happen is you look a little thick in their eyes – but then again, who was the thicker one?

Just let it go

(leave them alone)

Unless you are a professional politician, there are almost never any good reasons for pursuing a sensitive argument.

In particular not in a discussion with the friend of a friend at the friend’s house party. Nobody benefits from a heated, inebriated and useless WWI style trench warfare. Leave it, change the subject. If needed, clearly state that you won’t talk politics, taxes, weight lifting, nutrition/dieting, or whatever the sensitive subject happens to be. Remember to do it with a smile.

I hold certain principles very dearly, not least Ahimsa, the practice of non-violence. I am about as open to discussion in these cases as I am regarding the existence of “God”, and if I can help it I save that for a sober and quiet talk with a close friend.

Anyway, I have no interest in trying to win over a career politician, ignorant kid or their like, that can’t see the asymmetry of their beliefs, when we can simply get drunk together, talk about the accelerating technological progress, David Simpson’s book Dawn Of The Singularity, or the unbearable shortness of the skirts at the party.

Summary: not two-faced

No, there is nothing insincere or fork-tongued about this.

Know your purpose. Choose your battles.

If you really want to get to the philosophical bottom of an argument, make sure to pick the right timevenue and person for it. An acquaintance at a dinner party, or worse yet, a stranger at a club, is not a fitting opportunity.

TIP: begin your answers with acknowledging their points: “You are right. I agree that…“, before saying anything remotely contrary to their position. But best refrain from countering altogether.

NOTE: this isn’t quite as cynical as you might think. By letting them win, you might actually find you understand their perspective and learn something new for real.

Check out my substack if you liked this post

Free TIP: Check out TIC! It's the distillation of my 30 years as a finance professional


In just 6 weeks of online studies of videos, text documents, screen captures & spreadsheets, The Investing Course teaches you how to Identify, Analyze, Invest, Optimize, Evaluate investments and asset portfolios. It's thorough, pedagogical, easy and fun (well...) for any motivated student.

Join the growing list of very satisfied participants like Pavel Pek below

So far I really love the course!

It's surely more work than I thought to understand all of it (math and logic doesn't really come naturally to me, I am a psychologist by career and humanities oriented my entire life), but it provides me with the exact hobby/intellectual challenge that I was looking for. I also really like the overall background of you Mikael and Ludvig (long time fan of Ludvig's blog) and how the lectures are structured and taught.

The overall system seems to me much more thorough and well thought (esp. the emphasis on the P = FxV formula and the overall picture it so far gave me) of than anything else I found online in my two or so humble weeks of being interested in investing. I am very impressed as yet!

Thanks for bringing this to English.

Glad to hear this can help Karl! Of course, use it with a name, would be glad to spread this course, I take it for an excellent investment that I've made. Best of luck with marketing of this, it's a really awesome system!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.