Thank You for Arguing Summary – April 2022

Author: Jay Heinrichs

Short Summary
Thank You for Arguing (2007) is a guide to carrying out a proper argumentation based on the rhetoric of the famous philosopher Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson. The author emphasizes the importance of rhetoric for political campaigns, daily life communications, and spouse arguments. Having been published in more than twelve languages and taught in more than three thousand college rhetoric classes, the book mentions a variety of persuasive tricks that can come in handy for everyone from the courtroom to the advertisements we see daily on our screens.
thank you for arguing
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

Thank You for Arguing provides a different outlook on arguments. A side that is different from the one which we have learned since our childhood, is that arguments are unnecessary and should be dismissed as soon as they appear in any conversation. Not only the book makes you understand that arguments can ensure a positive result, but it also teaches you how to win people over by the sheer force of your rationale.

From the beginning of the world, humans have carried out arguments, to prove a point, to convince, strike back, and exchange knowledge. If we have been arguing from the beginning why not do it in a proper manner that results in resolution instead of a quarrel? Heinrichs teaches you all the skills you need to persuade and communicate effectively through Aristotle and Marcus Tullius Cicero.

To take control, you need to appeal to the logic of your audience and then align yourself with their feelings. Make yourself likable and make your apologies sincere. In addition to that, a good speaker should know when to say something. The author calls it the concept of Kairos, the “right time.”

Thank You for Arguing Key Points

Arguments have a positive side to them

If the word argument springs up in a conversation, you will quickly shift towards associating a negative meaning with it. The words that are likely to come up in your mind when you think of the word argument are fight, heat, bicker, controversy, misunderstanding, and fall out. The author however states that arguments are supposed to be positive. They should be carried out to resolve the underlying issues. Rhetoric consists of skills and techniques that should be known by everyone to communicate properly. Ancient Greeks deemed it so prestigious that the basic form of imparting knowledge wasn’t pen and paper. Rather they would stand in front of an audience to deliver their point. This way of sharing knowledge made sure that everyone would feel free to agree or disagree if they backed their contradictory argument with evidence.

Arguments Save Marriages???

What would be your response if I told you that the couple who have long-lasting marriages have almost the same number of arguments as the couples who break up and drift apart? You would be in shock, right? Argue in a way that will help you gain what you have in mind. Do not argue out of spite or just for the sake of displacing your anger. If you want to get your way, entice your partner into listening to you and being persuasive rather than yelling at the top of your lungs.

Identify the Root of Arguments and Reach a Positive Outcome

The day-to-day bickering in your house is often deep-rooted. For example, an argument between your mother and younger brother about permitting you to stay out till late. This can be because of the preferential treatment he thinks you are receiving from everyone at home. If the mother addresses this “root” problem of him feeling less important than you the argument can be easily resolved. By resolving the root issues related to an argument you are reducing the possibility of fights.

Logos, Pathos, and Ethos are Your Instruments in an Argument

Logos means using logic or here using the logic of your audience. According to Aristotle if you agree with the point of view presented by your audience, they become more likely to hear whatever you have to say.

Pathos on the other hand will work on the emotional side. Join the audience and feel whatever they are feeling. Do not try to change your mood. Make them feel seen and heard. By sympathizing and giving regard to their feelings you are making them open up to you emotionally. Welcome, now you are talking to a human who feels heard and accepted by you and is now more likely to understand where you are coming from. Rather than an individual who is holding his stance firmly.

Coming to Ethos. Aren’t people more receptive to you if you are generally well-liked? Yes, and that simple thing is the third trick by the most famous philosopher, Aristotle. Be likable. Try to form a positive image of yourself in your surrounding so that when you have to say something people listen.

Thank You for Arguing Quotes

“Rhetoric is the art of influence, friendship, and eloquence, of ready wit and irrefutable logic. And it harnesses the most powerful of social forces, argument.” Jay Heinrichs

“You’ll mold the minds of men and women to your will, and make any group yield to the dominion of your voice. Even more important, you’ll get them to want to yield, to commit to your plan, and to consider the result a consensus.” Jay Heinrichs

Thank You for Arguing Review

The book is warm and jocular at the same time. It teaches you the very basic yet important skills required for persuasive communication without heavy vocabulary and terminology that you would not understand. Various examples from households, politics, and media keep the writing style light.

To Whom I Would Recommend Thank You for Arguing Summary

I would recommend it to the debaters who are trying to win arguments standing over the podium. To the people who want to develop effective persuasion and communication skills, and to everyone who just loves to win arguments. The book is apt for beginners who want to learn about rhetoric but do not know where to start.

Link: https://amzn.to/3bju0FW