Thank You for Arguing by Jay Heinrichs (Three Rivers Press)
Drawing on examples from The Simpsons, Aristotle, politics, and his own personal life, Heinrichs illustrates argumentative—not combative—techniques to convince others that you're right, such as appearing selfless, spotting fallacies, and subtly deploying innuendo.
On a recent night, my goal was simple: convince my husband to get out of bed to shut off the space heater before we both fell asleep. I began, "It's warm, eh?" He complained that he always shuts off the heater and it was clearly my turn. According to the book, I should have conceded my husband's point and made an emotional plea. Instead, I stalled by asking if he was still cold. He recognized my distraction attempt and called me on it, adding that he didn't want to waste electricity by letting the heater run all night. He had blatantly changed the argument from the original issue to one of saving money—a Heinrichs twist he employed without reading the book. I should have recognized it, but in my frustration, I just huffed and surrendered.