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How to win an argument with a Teenager without Arguing
Struck by lightning!
Overall odds of winning an argument with a teenager are at best a long shot. Your actual odds of winning an argument with a teenager depend on when you argue and where you argue, but a single argument with a teen has odds of about 18 million in one. Arguing with two or more teens at the same times increases your odds dramatically and you have as little chance of winning as 125 million to one.
Since there are about 25 million teens in America, each one of them would have to enter into 5 arguments before one of them lost one. Incredible odds in their favor. That means that virtually at no time is there danger of losing the argument. This simple fact strengthens the teen's resolve to argue. And adults accommodate this resolve day in and day out.
I you have ever thought about how to
put a teenager in his/her place, you are not alone. About 2 in 3
people in the United States believe that winning an argument with a
teenager is the only way to put them in their place in their
lifetime. This is an amazing statistic given the scary odds.
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Think back. Take a long hard look at your outcomes in arguing with teenagers. Can you ever remember winning. Oh sure, there are times that you have won on some points. You've gotten 2 or 3 of 6 points. I even had a neighbor once who got 5 points and had their teenage son up against the wall. But let's consider the chances of winning all 6 points compared to the other unlikely events in your life.
What are your chances of being struck
by lightning? Since there are about 300 million people in the US,
and there are about 100 deaths per year, the chances of being struck
by lightning and being killed are about 3 million to one. You are 6
to 40 times more likely to die from a lightning strike that to win an
argument with a teenager.
Now given the dramatic odds, you would believe that people would figure out that there must be a better way to interact with teenagers than to argue with them. But still facing the odds and pursuing that win is one of the great American pastimes. Every week in the US, there is a person who has won an argument with a teenager. Many adults look to this accomplishment with great reverence and maybe even some envy.
It's a Lottery
Most people believe that they should have an argument every Wednesday and every Saturday because someone is going to win. What they may not be taking into consideration is that most of the winners are teenagers.
Did you know that arguing with someone who is not interested in your point of view dramatically increases the odds? So, just for arguments sake, let's say that 1 in 1,000 teenagers are arguing with you because they have a keen interest in your point of view and want to find out what you are thinking. Those arguments are still won at the 18 million to one odds. But consider the other 999 teens. These people are arguing for the simple purpose of making you lose. The odds in winning an argument in that situation are astronomical. Add two or more teens and the odds are staggering.
Do Not Argue With a Teenager
Still, most people continue to argue with their teenagers, believing that somewhere someone is going to win. So when, you ask, is it a good strategy to enter into an argument with a teenager?
There are various times when arguing with a teen is advisable:
You want to lose.
You want to prove to yourself that you cannot win an argument with a teen.
You want to increase the probability that you will be struck by lightning.
You just bought a lottery ticket and you want to try something that has a lower chance of winning.
Hopefully this discussion has convinced you to reconsider your goal of winning an argument with a teen. To review, teenagers are ruthless. They are not interested in your point of view. They do not care what you think. They want you to lose your cool. They want to win.
Your overall odds of winning are very low.
You might consider trying something else. Like listening. You might find out what kind of person is hiding behind that argument.
Last piece of advice: Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!Do not argue with a teenager!
You cannot win!
Note: I just made up the statistics. There are no statistics for who wants to argue.