How to Make a Third Party Agree With You on a Disagreement

Peaceful disagreements which warrant the judgment of a third party are common occurrences. You’ll often need a third opinion when attempting to break ties between decisions on where to eat, and what to watch. 

As soon as a third party enters the picture, the context of the social interaction alters. 

The tie between ideas is set in stone when a third person is called in to make a decisive call. At that point in time, neither contending idea has the upper hand. 

Your goals of changing minds are thereby shifted from changing the mind of the person you disagreed with, to attracting the positive judgment of the third person making the decision.

This article is about the process of enticing a third person to side with you on disagreements.

This article is not about logic, reason, and what makes good ideas good. Rather, it is about framing and leveraging the interaction to make those you disagree with seem to be operating biasedly. 

The things you argue for still need to be set solid in their logical foundation, as nothing would help you get a bad idea implemented more than making it better.

Be Honest With the Pros and Cons of Your Position With Those Who Disagree With You

Prior to the entry of the deciding third party into the conversation, your dealings with those you disagree with are important to conduct correctly.  While discussing reasons for why you disagree with the individual in front of you, remember to be honest with the pros and cons of your position.

Your willingness to specify why some aspects of your position are unfavorable is an effective strategy in many ways. 

You already know that those you speak with are likely to respect your position more if you acknowledge it to be imperfect. They’ll view you as being intellectually honest. As you specify the cons relating to the ideas you present, the pros will be believable.

More importantly however, your act of specifying the cons of the position you hold does well to entice those you disagree with to do the same. Enticing them to emulate your intellectually honest behavior will serve to reward you later down the line. 

Enticing Those You Disagree With to State the Cons of Their Position

A “trick” behind the goal of getting a third party to agree with you is to entice your opponent to “invalidate” their own ideas. As you’d have already stated the pros and cons of your own position on the issue in question, begin enticing those you disagree with to do the same.

Ask them whether they’re willing to admit to any negatives behind the position they hold. Ask them to be honest with their evaluation of their own reason and ideas. Tell them to tell you what imperfections their own ideas have. Challenge them on the basis of intellectual honesty by overtly saying that no one idea is perfect. 

Note the things they say about their own position. The cons they list are things which have the backing of the very person behind the idea itself. Your memory of, and ability to sell, those cons  / negatives / shortcomings is what the deciding third party will be influenced by most.

Present an Air of Possibly Agreeing With Your Counterpart’s Position

In an attempt to continue the “softening up” effort, allow your counterpart to think that their idea may in fact be a good one. As you do, however, state that you’re still not willing to fully agree with everything they propose. Exclaim that you’d be more comfortable in having a third party make the call.

Ensure that those you disagree with realize that you’re willing to go with their ideas / decisions if another person comes along to approve that idea / decision.

In doing so, you’ll entice your adversary to not swing his / her sword of disagreement wildly in the presence of the person who’s come to make a decision. Their guard will be lowered.

In letting them know about how good their idea really is prior to the arrival of a third party, you give rise to a certain confidence within them. Your counterpart will be more enticed to lean back and allow their idea to speak for itself when that deciding third party comes along. 

Know How to Refute / Provide Solutions for the Cons of Your Own Idea

In being honest with the good and the bad aspects of the idea you’re fighting for early on, you’ll need to be ready to fill some holes.

Your idea’s shortcomings can come back to bite you when it comes to a third party making a decision. You thereby need to be prepared for the shortcomings of your idea to be vehemently attacked. Every corner and crevice will be picked at, thereby be prepared to offer solutions for the negative aspects of opinions that you’re fighting to present as truth.

Your solutions may not be optimal. However, the fact that you’re willing to provide solutions for the not so good aspects of the idea you propose shows that there may be ways around the inadequacies. 

The person who has an adequately thought out solution to the problems to do with their own ideas will edge out the person who hasn’t thought to challenge their own idea from a judge’s perspective.

When the Third Party Enters the Picture

The third party will come in and learn of the situation at hand. They’ll ask questions about the decision being made and will begin learning of the detailed circumstances.

In pitching your ideas to the individual making an unbiased judgment call, your goals are to:


1.       Be honest with the shortcomings of your ideas

Attacking your own idea off the bat may seem like a counterintuitive approach. 

Remember though, finding a $10 bill under the couch feels better than being handed one by someone else. 

In remembering that idea, utilize it in a reversed fashion: voluntarily hand out the shortcomings of your ideas in an effort to dissuade people from finding out for themselves. 

Your ownership of your ideas’ shortcomings will make your ideas’ shortcomings seem unimportant to someone judging from afar.


2.       Provide solutions for the shortcomings of your ideas

As you frame the shortcomings of your ideas in an unimportant light by exposing them yourself, have your solutions for those inadequacies ready.  

Make your solutions short and concise. 

The goal is not to make it known that your solutions to your ideas’ problems work, but that you’re ready and willing to think about such solutions.


3.       Expose / quote the shortcomings of your counterpart’s ideas

 This is the most important part of your dealings with an unbiased third party. 

The goal is to introduce a certain bias within that third party against your counterpart’s ideas / decisions / thoughts. 

This advice centers on your counterpart’s lack of desire to expose their own idea’s shortcomings and their unwillingness to provide solutions for those shortcomings.  

What you’ve done so well yourself will likely not be done by the person you have a disagreement with. 

They likely won’t be brutally honest with the cons of their ideas with an unbiased third party. They likely won’t expose those shortcomings themselves.

Bank on enticing a feeling of discovering the shortcomings of your counterpart’s ideas. The way of doing that will be by quoting the very shortcomings they voiced themselves during your disagreement. The focus is not to make the inadequacies of their ideas seem terrible, but to sell the image of “discovering” those shortcomings.

Sell the fact that the cons behind your opposition’s ideas were voiced directly by them. Make it known as you explain the opposing ideas inadequacies, that this is their own opinion about their own ideas. 

The scenario of them telling you about the cons of their ideas but not having enough time to tell that to the unbiased third party will  work against them. It will make it seem that your opponent is attempting to mask those same shortcomings from the third party’s judgement. 

Your act of quoting the holes in your opponent’s ideas will give you an advantage you may very well need in your dispute. Your opponent will thereby have nothing left to do but sell the good portions of their idea. 

They’ll thereby seem biased in their approach, because the shortcomings of their own ideas wouldn’t have come from their own mouth. Unlike you, they wouldn’t seem balanced and unbiased in their approach to implement their good ideas. 


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Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims. Please critically analyze all claims made and independently decide on its validity.