Arguing is Pointless

Peter Bregman writes a weekly column called How We Work at Harvard Business and is a regular contributor at CNN.  He speaks, writes, and consults about how to lead and how to live. He is the CEO of Bregman Partners, Inc., a global management consulting firm, and advises CEOs and their leadership teams. You can sign up to be notified when he writes a new article.  Bregman is the author of Point B: A Short Guide To Leading a Big Change and the forthcoming 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done to be published in September. Peter can be reached at

Originally Published in Harvard Business Review

It was lunchtime and the seven of us — two kids and five adults — would be in the car for the next three hours as we drove from New York City to upstate Connecticut for the weekend.

We decided to get some takeout at a place on the corner of 8th and Broadway. I pulled along the curb and ran in to get everyone’s orders.

In no time, Isabelle, my eight year old, came running in the restaurant.

Daddy! Come quick! The police are giving you a ticket!

I ran outside.

“Wait, don’t write the ticket, I’ll move it right away,” I offered.

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Much love.

About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation ( He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • jJoniJJ

    This was an interesting article, I agree, it is pointless for men to argue.

    • Jon Trouten

      How about women?

  • jJoniJJ

    Arguing with women is energizing, intellectually dynamic… it is the heart and soul of radical feminist discourse. Get together with a group of trusted women and it’s truly amazing how enlightening argument is…. I don’t think it is worthwhile arguing with men because they generally aren’t up to speed on the topic, they can bash your head in, and they get violent. I’ve never had a woman threaten me with any harm whatsoever in the heart of a dramatic and mind blowing argument. I don’t think men realize just how scary they really are, and just how violent they appear to a lot of women.
    It’s something I don’t see men owning up to very often, and that’s why I really don’t think arguing with men is safe at all for women.