Arguments happen, and that’s OK. It doesn’t matter who’s on the other end of your frowning face — best friend, parent, coworker, in-law, or romantic partner. It is hard to avoid arguments entirely, but it is possible to handle the situation in such a way that the relationship can grow. In that sense, fights can be viewed as opportunities to truly listen to what the other person has to say, to say your piece, and to come out on the other side all the better for it.
As a result, it is far too easy to add fuel to the fire rather than extinguish it. Learning how to lead a debate in a more progressive direction takes effort, but you can begin by recognizing the things you might be doing incorrectly and replacing those behaviors with healthier, more productive practices
According to Judy Ho, Ph.D., a triple-board certified neuropsychologist, a psychology professor at Pepperdine University, and co-host of the TV show “The Doctors,” in order to make progress, it’s important to express your complaint, explain how you’re feeling, and then move on rapidly to the remedy.
“Once you’ve reached the problem-solving stage, employ a collaborative approach. Spend some time brainstorming solutions to the problem and don’t pass judgment on each other’s ideas,” she suggests. “Then, choose one that appears to be a decent compromise to both of you and commit to testing it out.”
According to Ho, a statement like “You always do this!” or “You never do that!” is not only theatrical, but also likely incorrect. It also puts the other person on the defensive, and instead of listening to what you have to say, they will focus on providing examples to refute your incorrect statement. Instead, she advises using “moderating adjectives like occasionally, at times, and often,” which are gradients that allow for an open dialogue. It also appears to be less of a personal, all-out insult to the other person’s entire personality.
Using the word “you” also puts the other person on the defensive. Saying things such as, “You ruined…” or “You made me…” According to Mark Mayfield, Ph.D., a qualified professional counselor, these blaming words frequently trigger the other person and can lead to a downward spiral. Instead, use “I” phrases such as “I am frustrated when…” or “I require…”
“These statements allow you to convey how you are feeling within the scenario, without blaming the other person and focusing on you,” he explains. Furthermore, the other person cannot refute emotional assertions, and they will be able to empathize with you more easily if they know how you’re feeling.
It is in our nature to respond and defend, and this reaction is amplified when fighting. “What often occurs in an argument is that we become so engrossed in it that we latch on to one word or a phrase and begin to formulate our defence without hearing the totality of what the other person is saying,” Mayfield adds. “We then respond to a fraction of what was said while overlooking the remainder of the substance. This only serves to prolong and aggravate the debate.”
It’s an acquired talent, but actually listening to what the other person has to say will get you a long way. Pay attention to their tone, body language, feelings, and the main points they are expressing. Reiterate the points to show that you were paying attention, then offer your ideas and work on a solution.
“Reflecting is a typical therapeutic practise used to assist soothe and then guide people to a higher level of consciousness. “It is also simpler to accept a counterpoint when someone has just heard their own words,” says Dr. Sudhir Gadh, a board-certified psychiatrist with a private practise in New York City.
“Taking quick breaths triggers your body’s fight, flight, or freeze mechanism, which engages the sympathetic nervous system and prepares you to fight or flee rather than think rationally,” Mayfield explains. “Take deep breaths to restore blood flow from your sympathetic nervous system to your brain, allowing you to think more clearly and engage in the debate with a level head.” Taking deep, focused breaths also helps you feel grounded and calms you down.
Even if you’ve made some headway in your argument, it’s difficult to shake off all that emotion. Taking some time apart to cool off is ideal, but it’s still crucial to exit on a pleasant note rather than storm away.
“Conclude the disagreement with something encouraging that recognizes something nice the person performed during the process. “For example, ‘I appreciate you listening to my issues today,’ or ‘I’m pleased we have an open communication line so I can honestly share my views,” Ho explains.
A hug or handshake can also suffice to clinch the deal. Whatever technique you take, the other person will appreciate that you made an attempt to express thanks and value your connection in the midst of a conflict, even if you have to pick it up again later to reach a complete resolution.