Have you ever found yourself in an argument or watching an argument where neither party has succeeded in convincing the other party? The interesting this is, many of such arguments quickly become ghetto, with insults thrown around. It’s not hard to see that the parties involved are clearly not listening to each other. It really is the worst. Don’t get me wrong, disagreements are a way to learn new things, but when an argument becomes toxic and unproductive, therein lies the problem. You can disagree respectfully and argue without tearing down the other person and actually come away less frazzled and having learnt something new. So this year, before you let someone’s opinions frustrate you, here are a few things to ensure when engaged in an argument.
Okay, so you may not be able to set boundaries for other people and control how they behave, but you can control how you respond. Learn when and how to tactfully shut down someone when they become verbally abusive. Or you may choose to step back and walk away from a conversation if it’s getting too heated. Know beforehand what you will and won’t take in an argument. Also, set boundaries for yourself. Don’t give insults if you know you can’t take the same.
Aim to be objective
Many times, emotions cloud our judgement. Deep down you may know that the other person is making sense but your emotions don’t care. And they can push you to react thoughtlessly and disregard everything that’s being said even though it makes sense. So try and put your emotions aside and pay attention to the actual facts of the matter. Also, losing your temper or yelling is rarely productive, if at all, so make the effort to stay calm.
When your emotions are in check, it becomes easier to listen. You’re calmer and able to really listen to what the person is saying. Don’t just listen so you can respond to prove your point further, truly listen. And if you don’t understand ask them to clarify and explain further.
Agree to disagree
You will not always be able to convince the other person to see your point of view and that’s totally fine. Understand that it’s not possible for everyone’s worldview to be the same as yours. Respect other peoples perspectives and knows when to leave the matter amicably.
Finally, watch your tone and try, even in your anger, to be emphatic. No one likes to be spoken to in a harsh or condescending tone.
As with anything else do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You will most likely leave the argument less stressed and possibly with some new knowledge.