“An offended party is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle.” -Proverbs 18:19
The wrong attitude: I think your rule is stupid. In addition to it being unreasonable, it causes me all sorts of inconveniences that could easily be avoided if you just decided to stop being so rigid and dogmatic.
The right attitude: I get it. You have your rules for a reason and I know you wouldn’t be so passionate about upholding them unless they were designed to protect the things that really matter to you. With that being said, I’m making an appeal to you because I find myself in a most peculiar situation. In light of this situation, I’m asking you to work with me as an act of grace. You owe me nothing, but I would really appreciate it if you could make an exception by accommodating my request at this time.
T.K.’s two cents: It’s not about the words. It’s about the attitude behind the words. If your negotiation tactics require the other party to admit that they’re being stupid, you’re at a disadvantage. When you treat people as if they’re reasonable, they tend to respond as if they’re reasonable.