If you find yourself entangled in an argument, it’s likely your first reaction is to find ways to win. However, the focus of your disagreement shouldn’t just be about who’s right and who’s wrong. In order to have an effective exchange, you’ll need to make sure the other person feels heard. If not, you’ll be involved in a seemingly endless tennis match of caustic remarks that are sure to result in hurt feelings. Here are a few tips for how to argue the right way.
One of the most important communication skills is listening. This involves maintaining good eye contact and letting the speaker know that you hear and understand what is being said. You don’t have to agree with what is being said, but you should convey that you are open to receiving the speaker’s message.
If you’ve been arguing for a while and you’re having difficulty maintaining your focus, take a break and continue the conversation when you are both a bit calmer. Take time to regain composure and drink a caffeinated beverage to help you focus.
Instead of letting the argument continue to escalate, make your point as early in the conversation as possible. This will help the person you’re speaking with get a better sense of why you feel the way you do about the topic you are discussing and clear up any misunderstandings.
Resist the urge to become aggressive. Losing control of your emotions will cause the other person to become defensive and stop listening to what you have to say. Furthermore, as aggression levels rise, it is more likely that your argument will become physical. Avoid hitting or any other aggressive contact; physical abuse is unacceptable.
Watch what you say. Hurtful words have a way of haunting you for a very long time. If you don’t have a kind word, remain silent. Hurting someone just so that you can get your point across is selfish and cruel.
Once you finally settle down and resolve your disagreement, engage in a fun activity together. Talk to each other about an unrelated topic so that you can take your mind off the argument. Before you know it, you’ll both be feeling a lot better.
So that’s The Cheat Sheet way to argue like a boss. You can thank us later for saving your relationship.
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