Truth be told, most of us enjoy a good argument, it’s invigorating! I’m not talking about a knock down drag out fight where significant psychic or physical trauma is suffered, I’m talking about a “good old fashioned argument”. This type of argument generally takes place between friends, co-workers, relationship partners or maybe even a complete stranger at the local pub. Topics guaranteed to start a “good old fashioned argument” include; politics, religion, sports, family matters, parenting styles and lifestyle choices. Although a “good old fashioned argument” can be good for the soul it is wise to be mindful of a few healthy ground rules prior to engaging in your next one.
3 reminders for maintaining civil discord during your next “good old fashioned argument”…
*Replace the words YOU and YOU’RE with the word I. The words YOU and YOU’RE are “finger pointers”. The word I implies ownership. For example, instead of saying “YOU make me upset or YOU’RE the cause of the problem” a person might try saying “I’m a bit confused and would really appreciate some clarity”. We have now made it about US rather than THEM which opens the door for constructive conversation. This reminder is guaranteed to enhance the quality of your next “good old fashioned argument”.
*Turn down the volume. The loudest voice doesn’t win an argument. Using a threatening or menacing tone is an intimidation tactic that weakens your position and characterizes you as a bully! The person who prevails in any argument is the person who presents the best case. Confident communicators don’t scream to be heard. Practice using your “inside voice” when arguing and watch your results SKYROCKET!
*Learn to graciously concede. Arguing for the sake of arguing is never productive. In other words, don’t take a strong stand or try to force your position on something you know nothing about. Honoring another person’s point of view casts us in a positive light. Remember, we can learn something from everyone. With regard to baseless arguing, ignorance is not “bliss” it is downright annoying!
My hope is that these 3 reminders will help you enjoy your next “good old fashioned argument” for all it’s worth!
As always, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.