A Few Rules To Help Us Argue “Better”
It's an unfortunately reality about being human. Inevitably, at some point in our lives, we're going to argue with someone. Probably many times, actually.
For someone like me who isn't exactly a fan of conflict or loud, booming voices, I do my best to avoid arguing with people unless I feel deep in my gut it's worth the emotional energy it's going to take--because it DOES.
Ever notice how exhausted you are after a particularly "heated discussion?" It takes energy to engage in conflict with someone. Even if neither party is necessarily angry, it still means you'll need to put in quite a bit of mental wrangling and persuasion when really you'd rather eat ice cream and watch movies.
For those moments when it's unavoidable, or it is indeed an argument worth having, there are a few rules of thumb that can help you, and the other party, argue as "healthily" as possible:
First of all, can we agree that the one of the best ways to argue is to avoid it, if you can without sacrificing your ethics, in the first place? Take a few deep breaths, walk away if you need to, and come back with a cooler head.
With all of your might, avoid saying the words "You're wrong!" That comes across as an attack and doesn't contain an substantive reasons why they may, in fact, be wrong. Do you best to make them feel heard, acknowledge their feelings, even if you disagree. Once things have calmed, it's easier to proceed.
If YOU are the one who is wrong, check your ego and admit it as soon as you can.
Please note that, the weaker the argument, the more intense the words tend to be. If your opinion is valid and there are solid reasons behind it, communicate these as calmly as possible, without ego, and you have a better chance of defusing the argument more quickly.
Keep in mind, it's not WHO is "right" so much as it is "WHAT" is right. Do your best to re-frame the argument where instead of "you against me," it's "us seeking what's true."
Finally, and I can't stress this enough, respect the other's feeling, even if you don't agree or think they are misguided. They'll be MUCH more likely to listen to what you have to say if they feel seen and their feelings are validated.
Good luck. <3
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