When I was in college I got into an argument with my roommate about who had more rebounds in the 1984-1985 NBA season, Michael Jordan or Dominique Wilkins.
Why were we arguing about this? Simple. We were stupid college kids.
I believed Dominique Wilkins had more rebounds in that particular season and my friend believed it was Michael Jordan. This was before the iPhone, so we couldn't just reach into our pockets and find the answer, so we argued for a while. Later that day, I went onto our computer and pulled up the stats. To my delight, I was right. Dominique Wilkins had 557 rebounds in the 1984/1985 season and Michael Jordan only had 534. Winner winner chicken dinner!
Getty with a rare opportunity to unequivocally win an argument and rub it right in my friends face, I called him over to the computer screen.
He walked over the computer screen, look at the two numbers, paused, then looked up at me and nonchalantly said,
"You ain't about to change my mind."
I was shocked, he knew he was wrong, he knew he had lost, and he wasn't willing to admit it.
It wasn't that he didn't know he was wrong, it was that I had not given him an opportunity to save face. He couldn't be wrong and feel as though he could maintain respect.
I learned a very valuable lesson that day, I learned that even if you win an argument, you still lose.
I guess that's why Dale Carnegie said, "The only way to win an argument is to avoid it."