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Arguing is used by people who want to change another person’s mindset or position. Similar to anger, arguing is almost never productive. Children use arguing in an effort to manipulate parents into giving the child what they want. It is NEVER about “gathering data.”

An example might be when you tell your teenager they cannot stay out until 2:00 in the morning on a school night. They will  most likely ask you, “Why not?” or say “My friend’s parents say it’s okay” or some other statement to initiate the argument. Their goal is to change your mind and get what they want. It is a poor behavior that, if rewarded, will continue. See also “bait phrases (link),” “anger (link)” and “hot buttons (link)”

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