Tips To Handle An Argument
Whether it be at home, in the workplace, at school or with friends, knowing how to handle an argument will go a long way. No one likes confrontation, so, if there’s a way we can avoid it, we most definitely should.
If you’ve found yourself caught up in arguments, then feel like a round and round cycle that’s getting you nowhere, you’ll want to read on. While dealing with arguments can vary based on circumstances, you as a person and the nature of a dispute, considering the following is a good place to start.
1. Stop And Listen
Before you become consumed by an argument, you need to stop and ask yourself the cause behind it. Listen to what the other person has to say and take it on board before you speak again. Are you arguing over something that’s going to affect you or should you squash it there and then. Sometimes, we can find ourselves caught up in arguments that are fuelled because of how we’re actually saying things. So, taking the time to stop and listen can go a long way.
If this is something that you don’t often do, you might be amazed by how much tension can be removed from an argument when you listen.
2. Speak Calmly
Once you’ve actually taken a step back and listened to what the other person has to say, it’s essential that when you do respond, you do it calmly. To avoid tensions rising once again and the argument escalating further, covey what you’re trying to say with patience and respect, it will make a world of difference.
3. If You’re In The Wrong, Be Accountable For Your Actions
We’ve all done it before, realized we’re wrong mid-argument but continued to argue anyway because we’re so consumed in what’s going on. When you take the time to stop, listen and speak calmly, you’re giving yourself the time to think. If you’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps you have done or said something, then you should apologize for it. With that said, you shouldn’t just apologize for the sake of dealing with an argument. Instead, you should apologize sincerely and accept the fault. Even if you take the time to apologize for raising your voice or not listening, it can often make the other person stop and think also.
More often than not, a sincere apology will ultimately end an argument and open the door to move forward rather than getting caught up in a never-ending battle.
4. Ask Questions
The cause behind an argument is rarely established on the surface. When it comes to getting to the bottom of an argument, you need to get to the root of the issues, particularly if you want to avoid it happening again. Of course, certain situations in life won’t require you to do this. However, in the circumstances that do, perhaps with a partner or a team member, you should take the time to get to the bottom of things. By simply asking why precisely the argument occurred and what you can do to avoid it happening again in the future can make a huge difference. Rather than guessing or making assumptions, asking questions will help you to work together to create a long-lasting solution.
5. Work Together
Our fifth and final point is to work together to find a solution to the problem which fuelled the argument. If there’s a way you can team up to improve the issue at hand, you should do so.
Beyond the five core considerations when it comes to handling an argument, you should also:
- Avoid raising your voice.
- Be mindful of your body language.
- Avoid name-calling, insults or bad language.
- Think before you speak and avoid saying things you may regret.
- Avoid bringing up unrelated issues in the heat of the moment.
- Be sure to express your feelings.
- Try not to take things personally (easier said than done, but in some cases, this is important).
While most arguments can often be resolved, it’s also worth considering the fact that some battles are just best left alone. If you’re at the centre of an argument, before you work through this process and give it your time and energy, ask yourself this: will it matter to me to be in 5 years? As the five by five rule goes: “if it won’t matter in five years, don’t spend more than five minutes worrying about it.” A golden rule that can put things into perspective.