How to stop Arguing
Did you know that arguing in any relationship is actually a healthy sign? Now granted, having huge blowouts or violent outbursts isn’t, but arguments in moderation are a good sign. Think about it. What are some of the reasons you would avoid arguing with someone?
- Someone will get mad at you
- It takes up too much time and energy
- You don’t really care about the issue that much
- Someone may not like you anymore
This is by no means a definitive list, but taking a look at the few items here, it doesn’t look like it’s worth the time to fight with someone, right? Look at all of those risks! Who wants to gamble with any of that? Fighting just leads from one headache to the next one, right? Wrong! If done incorrectly, yes, arguing can be a damaging thing to your relationships and your health (think of all that stress!). However, if you feel like you are arguing with someone too often or you would like to stop arguing over the same things, chances are that you aren’t really getting to the problem.
Tips to Stop Arguing
Here are some tips to help you get to the root of the issue, resolve it, and move on:
- Open your ears and be an effective listener. If you feel like you sound like a broken record, chances are, the other person has been feeling like that for a while now. Not only do you run the risk of the other person losing interest in what you have to say, they can lose interest in the whole matter completely because they don’t feel like they are getting an opportunity to speak their piece. Give the other person a chance to speak, and most importantly, actually LISTEN to what they have to say. We call that “active” or effective listening. Here’s some tips on how you can be an active listener:
- Pay attention! Turn off anything that will take away your attention from the matter at hand. You wanted their undivided attention, so be fair and give them yours.
- What are your non-verbal cues saying? If you’re sitting back, legs and arms crossed, not looking at the other person, fidgeting, etc., what kind of message are you displaying? These are all signals that you don’t want to hear what the other person is saying. If you really want to listen though, you need to sit up, or even lean in to the speaker, maintain eye contact as best you can (without being bug eyed), and place your hands and arms in a open position, such as resting on your lap.
- Speak up. I’ll bet that you didn’t know it was a part of listening to actually speak. Ask questions about what is being said. “This is what I am hearing from you, is that right?” Miscommunication is death to any and all relationships. Paraphrase what is being said to you. It accomplishes some very important things. For one thing, it slows down the conversation which gives you both time to digest what is being said. Also, it gives you the opportunity to clarify any points you are unclear on. If the speaker says you heard wrong, then politely ask them to explain it again so that you can better understand their position. Don’t assume that they mean what you’ve heard. If it’s an important point that you think that you understand, it can’t hurt to double check.
- Don’t sit and wait for your turn. If all you’re doing is sitting and thinking about how you can’t wait to get your word in, you aren’t really listening. Don’t suggest solutions or give advice until the end of the conversation after you both have had your say. We all have that friend who can’t wait to tell you how they handled a situation like yours, or how their situation was way worse, etc. No one likes that person, so don’t be that person. If you find yourself having trouble paying attention due to your own thoughts, find an appropriate time to ask your speaker for a bathroom break or a water break. It can be tough to have to sit and listen like this, especially if you’re new to it. Don’t overwork yourself, because then you aren’t helping anyone.
Is Arguing a Good Thing?
Now granted, arguing isn’t always fun, but we all do it. When you argue with a girlfriend, boyfriend or a spouse, generally it is a good sign. It means you are comfortable enough with each other and your relationship to introduce a little discord now for the sake of increased harmony later. Sometimes though, these tips won’t be enough, and that’s okay too. A little extra help is necessary for some situations. Professionals, such as marriage counselors or guidance counselors, are there to help you when what you’re doing isn’t working. It can’t hurt to bring in a third point of view to maybe point out a problem or solution that neither of you have thought of yet. If you can go into an argument knowing what you want the end goal to be, then it will be a whole lot easier to stop arguing faster and with a happier conclusion.
Filed under: Relationships
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