Be bold. Real men win arguments by talking, not fighting. According to Rhymefest, a Grammy-winning battle-rapper who took down Eminem at a freestyle face-off in 1997, “trash-talking is all about confidence.” No matter what insult your opponent throws at you, don’t take it personally. If you show emotion or “your voice cracks, you’re sunk.”

Get creative. Strategy is key when choosing gibes to “make the other guy feel self-conscious.” If your opponent is on the heavier side, “he’s expecting you to say something about his weight.” Instead, “get his attention” by remarking on his intellect, wardrobe, or awful taste in music. But be careful: Fighting words only work if they’re actually clever.

Finish strong. Close with a “knockout punch, the line that makes the crowd around you shout ‘Ohhh!’” How will you know you’ve won? When the opponent is left speechless.

Men’s Journal