Did you ever notice that arguing rarely solves anything? Yet, in families or relationships arguing is often a common occurrence. Interestingly, it is often the same arguments that are repeated again and again.
Why do people argue? Generally there is a situation where two people disagree about something. We are all individuals, so it is not unnatural for us to see things differently. Arguments are usually about convincing the other to see things our way, or to “prove” that they are wrong and we are right.
If the issue is an important one to the individuals involved, it is unlikely that either will back down. This results in an escalation of the argument, with tempers rising, and extraneous issues being thrown in. It may even degenerate into a personal attack of the other.
Arguments eat away at the trust and good feeling of the relationship . Words cannot be taken back. Few truly know how to debate an issue and then come to some kind of resolution. We need to learn this skill.
The first step in developing a new approach to differences is to agree to truly listen to gain an understanding of the other person’s point of view. We should be able to understand their position as well as we do our own. Their viewpoint should be taken seriously, even if we disagree with them.
Once each has a clear understanding of the other’s stance, the focus should then shift to looking at ways the impasse might be resolved. It does no good to try to negate the other, trying to demonstrate flaws in their position. The way they see it is the way they see it. We have to validate that.
Then we need to look to see if there is any way to reach a compromise. If both parties are truly willing to compromise, it is surprising how easily conflicts can be resolved. Once you have had the experience of resolving differences without conflict, the process becomes easier in the future. Then you can spend less time fighting with loved ones, and more time enjoying them.
Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.