Arguments are annoying, I honestly hate arguing with people for many reasons, and most important amongst those is that I hate the idea of heated emotions. It gives me a feeling as if the emotions are running around unbridled and we are finally talking about something which was not even the matter in the first place. Does this sound any familiar? Are you too tired of having these arguments, esp the meaningless types? Here are a few thoughts as to how we can bridle it a bit.
1) Why are you arguing ?
What is the honest answer you get when you ask yourself this? Does the answer say – cos I am right? Does the answer say that the person you are arguing with is an idiot? Is it cos you can’t stand the person let alone the thought of him/her being right? Is it cos you know that your idea is awesome and flawless and anyone trying to make that wrong becomes your mortal enemy?
Try and figure this out, try and understand why you are arguing
2) Stay to the topic!
Never make an argument personal. Remember that an argument or an intelligent discussion is about the subject and it is not an opportunity to prove the other person wrong nor is it an opportunity to prove yourself right! Stay as neutral as possible and steer away from all personal references cos the moment you do it, I can assure you that you will have some tempers flaring!
3) What is more important?
This will be a constant question – what is more important to you? Is it proving yourself right or is it about proving the other person wrong? Either ways you are losing out on the person cos no matter what you do is that you are proving your competitor wrong and pushing his ego down. There is a very low chance of him being a friend or him being very nice to you if you do something like this..
4) Tempers Talk!
Your words always have an impact. For a listener your words are your words, they will not be patient enough to try and figure out what is wrong and why it is hurting your temper. Don’t let the temper do the talking, it is the essence and the person which matters more and not your temper. You need to find a different way to handle your anger (How to handle Anger)
5) Why is the other person doing this?
When it comes to a conversation or a chat or an exchange it is no longer about you, it is about the both of you which makes 2 people in the equation. Try and understand why the other person is arguing with you. Is he trying to assert that he is right or is he responding to his emotions. If he is, try and identify how you can appease it. There are always some perks by being the bigger person in an argument 🙂
6) Show the other person RESPECT!
It is easy to say that someone else’s idea is stupid and shun it. It is easier to neglect them as well. But both of them would mean a huge amount of disrespect to the other person who will not be impressed by this and may even retaliate! Show the other person that you care, you respect their views, you hear them.
7) Use Softeners!
Don’t say “You are wrong”. That is blatantly rude and irritating to hear. Try to use words like -‘I see the point but…’ , ‘That is an interesting line of thought, an alternative view can be…’ ‘I beg to differ…’, I see your line of thought and appreciate it, I may even be wrong but something I could think of is….I know all of these are intended to say that you are not in line with what is happening. But that being said, you don’t have to insult someone, a mistake is a mistake and what is more important is the person and the situation over petty egos. (How to tell someone they are wrong without hurting them? )
8) Control your pitch
You can shout at the top of your voice and say someone is wrong. You can smile and gently say that you differ in views and ideas and have a conversation going. If you have something insulting to say, hold it back, if you want to shout, close your eyes and smile but never let it become an emotional battle! ( How to communicate with people? )
9) Don’t make it a long one!
Brevity is skill! If you realize that the argument is going out of control and you are not able to handle it, maybe call it quits, stop it, let the other person have the upper hand. Take a break and come back again, don’t let the heated and the sour emotions take control of the two of you!
10) It’s not a debate, it is a conversation!
Too much of negativity has been attached to the word debate and an argument. An argument is just an exchange of ideas, it is about reaching a solution and a conclusion. Keep the bigger picture in mind, you may have the best idea in the world but if it doesn’t fit the broader plan, it is equivalent to being useless. Keep reminding yourself that it is not about you, it is just about the idea 🙂
And end of the day, we all have our bad days which we need to smile about. If you feel that bad about it, then maybe go out for a drink, settle it down with simple and easier thoughts or even neglect it completely. It is just an argument in the end 🙂