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Be Mostly Right


Techniques General persuasion > Being Right > Be Mostly Right

Description | Example | Discussion | See also



If you cannot claim to be fully right, then you can still be partly right. For example you can point out that while this may not be right, that at least is right.

You can play this as a trade, admitting to be wrong in one area in exchange for them allowing you to be right in another area. Of course you should make sure the area in which you are right is the important points. You can even set this up, giving them something obviously wrong to challenge so you can use it as a contrast to make right other things you say.

A way of 'logically' using a failure as proof is to claim that 'the exception proves the rule', being surprised when something seems not to be true and then saying that this 'unusual occurrence' shows how you cannot always be right, that the system is not perfect, and that this failure means other claims will even more likely to be true.


Yes, well that may not be exactly right but this is clearly correct.

Indeed, I'm not sure about that either. But I am sure about this.

Well it didn't work that time, but that just shows how amazing all the other successes are.


It is difficult to be right all the time and people will easily accept this. It can even enhance your reputation if you modestly say you are occasionally wrong (and hence imply that you are mostly right). This can make this method useful as an excuse that reframes failure as proof of success, the exception that proves the rule.

People remember surprisingly little. This means when you do fail, if you claim it is an exception then few people may remember when you failed before and so will not challenge you.

People also do not like to embarrass others and so may say nothing. You can encourage this by being friendly so they do not want to embarrass you, their friend.

See also



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