The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

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The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

A useless means to an end

Have you ever had an argument where you just became desperate to win? It could be out of pride or because you didn’t want someone to get the final word. In these types of arguments, you bring up anything to come out victorious. You can bring up so much past or current drama that you can’t even remember what you were originally fighting about. All you know is that you just strained a relationship with your best friend or family member. 

Insults get thrown around with the intention to kill instead of harm. Why do we do this in arguments? Whenever I argue with someone important to me, I feel compelled to say things I know would make them speechless. Things I know that they would hate me for.

According to Psychology Today, an American media organization focused on psychology and human behavior, “There are an infinite variety of strategies for winning an argument, but only a few motives driving the compulsion to win, the most prevalent being the desire to avoid humiliation, punishment, or loss of power by defeating the partner and affirming the dominant position in the relationship.”

Typically, we don’t do things like bring an umbrella to school or hang out with someone we know is toxic to avoid feeling embarrassed and humiliated. So it would make sense to see that even when it comes to arguments, there is a fear of humiliation because we tend to think that it’s the end of the world when something happens. We let the humiliation feed on us until we aren’t able to function properly.

If you lose, will that person find you weak? Are you powerless? You feel this shame knowing that you lost something important to you. It can also make you feel like you lost power in the relationship because if you could lose an argument, what else are you capable of losing? 

You could lose any sense of backbone in the relationship that makes you feel weak. At least, that is what you think you could lose. 

Manipulation and insulting someone to avoid this feeling of powerlessness and humiliation is something many of us do. But there truly is no reason for us to do this. No matter what, we could be doing more harm than good when it comes to winning in the name of pride. 

You could insult someone to the point that you lost what was truly important. Not only could you lose the argument but the relationship as a whole. 

When you are in an argument where you might end up risking the relationship due to pride, I think it’s best to either walk away for a while or to take a second and realize that what you’re saying might be the deciding factor in terms of if you walk away alone once the conversation concludes. 

When I’m in an argument, I sometimes go for the kill and make an insult that I know we both won’t come back from. But sometimes, I take a moment and realize that what I’m doing might not be the best course of action. 

If you’re a person who tends to insult in an argument so that then you can come out victorious, please take a step back and reflect on why that is. Once you figure out that reason,you may be able to move forward from there and finally try to keep the pride to a minimum and understand that not all arguments have to be a battlefield. Sometimes, they can be simple disagreements between two people that end with forgiveness instead of hatred.

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About the Contributor
Sophie Ponce de Leon
Sophie Ponce de Leon, Co-Editor-in- Chief of Print and Co-Copyeditor
Name: Sophie Ponce de Leon   Position: Co-Editor-in-Chief of Print and Co-Copy Editor   Graduation year: 2025   A few sentences about me: I love politics and will definitely always say a woman would make the best president. I love reading, writing, eating and sleeping. Also, I’m a hopeless romantic so… hit me up please.   My favorite…   Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Show: Lucifer Animal: Red fox Hobby: Crying Book: Once upon a broken heart by Stephanie Garber Food: French fries Song: I wish I was the moon by Neko Case Band / Artist: Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and Fiona Apple