One of my first and a favorite topics for my philosopher discussions that I bring up every few years is "Weapons of Compensation". When you are losing a disagreement, what do you pull out of your hat to turn the tide. In other words, what is your last trump-card defense.
I like this topic because it focuses on introspection. Less arguments and more ah ha moments, when you start to recognize that a Weapon of Compensation is being used against you, it indicates you have won the argument.
Ok, lets paint a picture of an argument with a neighbor which you appear to be losing after regular sane negotiations have failed, say over a fence boundary or obnoxious pets.
I eagerly await more trump card inputs, but those are some that have previously been given.
The reason that this exercise is valid, is because once you recognize in yourself the behavior that says you are now stepping outside of reason to get your way, you can then start to analyze in what situations causes you to lose and maybe make yourself aware of the way you cheat.
That is right, cheat...
It could be brought about by them using one of these tactics, so we feel compelled to trump their play, but that is a totally different game than the original argument.
"Well, the mayor is my brother-in-law."
"Oh Yeah, well I am having his wife over to lunch Tues."
We have lost the topic of conversation and are playing the disassociative game that takes us farther from the solution.
I am probably guilty of using all of these at one time or the other. What has really helped me about recognizing this is now I can see when the other party has figured they are losing. I unfortunately show my emotions in my face and smile. (Which always ticks them off more)
Had a boss start yelling at me because, what he was asking was inappropriate for honest customer service. I smiled and said, "Do you really think by raising your voice your argument will be more valid?" Probably not the right thing to say to a boss, but it is in point what you need to think when you witness such behavior.
Don't let it push your buttons. Stick to the point or walk away knowing you won the debate and refuse to engage in the other component.
Once you recognize Weapons of Compensation, you can turn the volume level down on your engagement of the trump cards used.
The arguments are the same online when you see name calling, or general "That's stupid" comments. Recognizing that the comments are trump cards meaning they are unable to come up with more rational comebacks...means you have won. Smile and walk away.