- an exchange of diverging or opposite views
- to give reasons for or against something
Avoid most arguments by changing the way you talk.
Arguments are fueled by defenses and reactions. If you could change the way you talk when you are upset, angry, jealous, hurt, or fill in any negative feeling, then you could avoid most arguments. Arguments go something like this: “you said…”, “I am mad because you…”, or “you need to…” In all these statements, the initiator either finger-points, blames, or asks/demands change. When people hear these words, they go on the defensive; they feel like they are being told they are wrong. And aren’t they? Because what is an argument other than giving reasons against something? Usually after an argument is initiated, the conversation gets hostile and one or both partners shut down because they are trying to win a debate or to avoid fighting. What if we changed the way we initiated the conversation?
Try experimenting without using blame, finger-pointing, or asking for change. What’s left is expressing thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. You probably won’t argue with someone when they tell you their favorite food is anchovies. You might if they try to tell you that is your favorite food. Keeping the conversation on defining your own thoughts and feelings will take out the triggers that lead to fighting. Your partner won’t need to defend them self if they don’t feel attacked. This will work even in highly difficult or sensitive topics.