During an argument with somebody, you must have one goal in mind: winning. In order for you to win at whatever goal you aim to achieve, you also need to set your pride aside. Your pride is what will make you lose the war by trying to win the battles which comprise it. The fact is that going unscathed in a war of ideas will never happen.
During what may seem like a loss for you and a win for your opponent, you will have an opportunity to bounce back to a position better than the one you held prior. The way to do this is to make sure your end-goal is always part of the plan. You need to realize which battles lost will help you achieve your end-goal.
Lose the battles which mean nothing to your end-goal. Petty battles always arise in a war of serious ideological battles. Know that losing these battles may feed your opponent’s idea of winning, but not your idea of losing. This is because your end-goal should never depend on petty battles, but rather a war which means something to you. If you are arguing for an idea which is not worth the time and effort, then you must abort immediately.
The first step to winning wars by losing battles is knowing exactly which battles to lose. When you lose a battle amidst a war, you give your opponent a sense of weakness. This weakness is falsified when your plan does not reward winning the battle which you lost.
Know what petty battles your opponent cares most about and which you care least about. It makes sense to lose those battles. You may also want to lose the battles in which a winner does not look good. There are battles, such as a battle of insults, in which winners lose more than they win. Winners can suffer a loss of reputation and of the opinion of an audience.
Winning a war can even mean losing a majority of the individual battles which comprise it and only winning the few that matter. In order to be an ideological war-leader, you must master the art of analyzing battles for how much winning them is worth.