Navigating an argument
Arguments are inevitable. We are all unique individuals with unique backgrounds. We have unique ways of seeing the world and usually think that our way is correct. Unfortunately, both people involved in an argument believe that their way is the RIGHT way to see it. The truth is that there are MANY ways to see the same thing. So what do we do?
Relationships can be challenging! Remember, challenges help us to grow into the kind of person we admire. So, to help you in those challenging moments, here are some tips to help navigate an argument.
1. When your loved one is making an “unreasonable” demand, to avoid being defensive and responding in anger, think of it as a “poorly-worded request.” They are doing the best that they know how to ask for what they want.
2. Find a time when you both have the emotional reserves to be able to talk about their request — a time when neither of you is too hungry, tired or stressed from the day.
3. Take a deep breath, relax, and focus all of your attention on listening to your loved one. Don’t try to strategize how to win the argument in your head. Just listen.
4. Let them know that you heard what they said — “Let me see if I understand what you want. You want $100 a week to spend however you want. Right?”
5. Get curious. Put yourself in their shoes. Remember, it’s a poorly-worded request.
6. Brainstorm possible solutions and try to agree on one.
7. Set a reasonable deadline to accomplish the request.
8. If your loved one begins to threaten you, either verbally or physically, call a time out. Stop the discussion. When you have both calmed down, try to discuss the request again. Don’t let their abusive actions make you give in to a solution that you are unwilling to carry out.
If you find yourself getting stuck in the same argument, I’d love to help you change that pattern. Please call me at 404.518.0828 to set up a time for a consultation. Dr. Sharman Colosetti