Not by Argument

When I first read the saying, “PEOPLE ARE CONVINCED NOT BY ARGUMENTS BUT BY OBSERVATION,” I pondered deeply about it.

For someone who is so interested in logical inferences, I was a little bit skeptical. For many years I believed that arguments are the best tool for convincing people. Set the right premises, and express clearly the conclusion, and that’s it, if you are good enough, your arguments will be irrefutable. People will be convinced.

I was wrong.

Gradually I have observed and learned that verbal argument actually sometimes is the last part in the process of changing minds. After we have observed enough actions, our mind becomes open to the arguments behind that action. If in case, arguments come first, we tend to wait for compelling actions before we are convinced. Then again, after we have carefully observed the action, the arguments just naturally follows.

If a person wants me to believe that he’s trustworthy, no amount of argument will convince me; I need to observe his actions.

If in case a person shows me trustworthiness in her action, even without explaining, I will be convinced that I can trust her.

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17 thoughts on “Not by Argument

    • Hello friend!
      I think many people are “very much this way”—just like us. :-)
      And perhaps even gullible people require certain actions before they completely seal their mind into being convinced.
      Thanks for sharing! :-)

  1. I loved the statement, “If a person wants me to believe that he’s trustworthy, no amount of argument will convince me; I need to observe his actions.” This is soo true!! Actions do speak louder than words.

    • Hello Elissa, thanks for dropping by and sharing a thought!
      Oh yes, actions speak louder than words. That’s supposed to be my next image post. Anyway, I’ll still post it.
      Thanks again! :-)

  2. Very compelling post–gives me something to think about. I think you’re right–people are “hooked” first, by experience, then convinced by an argument that backs up what they feel. (Look at advertising–that’s the formula they use–hook the potential buyer emotionally (or by evoking a past experience), then bring on the rationale…..

    • Hello friend, thank you!

      I like your phrase, “backs up.”
      You said it well, arguments are not how we are “hooked” but it backs up our experience once we’re there.

      Thanks again! :-)

  3. So true. I’ve seen enough arguments in my life to know that they don’t convince anyone. Watch any politician–best examples of arguers…and not doers.

    • Hello Char, have a nice day!

      I laughed when you mentioned “politician” because when I was writing this very short article, I was a bit tempted to use politicians as example along with others in leadership positions…but later changed my mind for fear that I might generalize them.

      Then here you are mentioning about them. Now, I will have to admit that I agree with you. :-)

      Seriously, I like your observation, and the way you put it: “Arguments…that…don’t convince anyone.”

      I really like that part!

      Thanks again Char! :-)

  4. I agree 100%. Seeing is believing. So many times, people say what they think we want to hear, or what they want to believe of themselves. Words are a mask…actions are the truest reflection of a soul.

  5. Yes, Children follow that pattern without question: they watch what you do no matter what you say. They are more honest in their judgments!

    • Thanks LightObserver!
      That little bird with big eyes? It’s adorable, hehe! :-) I love it too!

      Your question has point. Lawyers’ are in the business of “convincing.” How do they fit in with this way of thinking?
      Don’t lawyers use the power of observation to support their arguments? Or do they limit their play only to pure argumentation without appealing to the concept of observation? :-)
      Thanks for dropping by…and for taking time to share your thoughts!
      God bless you!

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