Have you ever had an argument with someone who refuses to listen? Isn’t it frustrating when you don’t feel heard or understood? Discussions can quickly turn ugly and become full-blown arguments when those involved refuse to listen to each other.
Heated discussions and arguments can be extremely uncomfortable, especially with the ones you love. But they don’t have to be.
It’s OK to disagree with someone. Disagreeing doesn’t make you wrong. Disagreeing doesn’t make anyone wrong. It's normal to have a different opinion. It’s just two different points of view. It’s two different ideas. And, sometimes it’s two sides of the same coin.
We all have different ways of conveying our ideas, but when they are not received well, it can sound like an argument. When you find yourself discussing anything that heats up emotions or gets everyone uncomfortable, consider these steps.
1. Identify your goal. What are you looking to achieve in this situation? Is it the same or different? Is it possible for you both to achieve your goals with this discussion?
2. Listen to each other. Each person is required to give each other their full attention. Each person gets to explain what, how, and why they're seeing what they're seeing. Each person gets to explain why their point of view matters to them and the results they expect to get from it. This is an opportunity to calmly prove your point. Use it wisely.
3. Assess each viewpoint. Which one has legs to stand on? In other words, could either of them work separately or together? Could there be another option that neither of you considered before?
5. Implement an option. Could you agree to try one idea first? If it doesn’t work, can you try the other?
6. Set a deadline. Agree on a length of time to try the first idea. Setting boundaries gives this process structure and a way to gauge success.7.
7. Reassess. Did the idea work? What were the results? Do you have a better appreciation for each other after going through this process?
Arguing is not fun. But if you value your relationships, value them enough to hear what others have to say. So, fight fair. It doesn’t mean you have to agree. But you can agree on how to discuss things that matter most. Giving someone the opportunity to be heard and understood shows love, kindness, and respect. It boosts their self-worth, self-esteem, and confidence.
If you can walk away from every argument with more respect and appreciation, then you did something right!