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Communication: Purposeful Arguing

Generally speaking, no one likes to argue. Feelings get hurt, we say things we regret, we can cause irreparable damage. There are heated conversations we have that leave us feeling less than ourselves. Ask yourself, is this argument going to make my life any better? If the answer is no, do something about it. create space for a more purposeful, intention lead discussion rather than destructive argument. Here are a few simple rules to help guide a healthy argument.

Rules for intention lead, positive and healthy arguing

1. Stick to one point

Keep the focus of the argument on one topic. Do not include previous arguments or multiple points of focus. Maintain the position you have on the topic and be open to criticism. Do not get distracted from what you want the resolution to be. Have this resolution in mind before you begin your discussion. What do you want to come out of this? Is it changed behavior? Is it material exchange?

2. Know why you are upset

Only if you know why you are upset, can you describe it to someone else. It is imperative that one has a strong hold on their reason for being upset. This allows them to share it in a way the other person can understand and respond to..

3. No silent treatment

You must express their feelings and opinion in order for improvement to be fostered. You need to be assertive of what led up to your frustration and your feelings about a situation. Express your feelings of discomfort and validate the other persons emotions can help to improve relationships. These conversations may be difficult to have but not saying something will build up resentment.

4. No foul language

Rather than using foul language or degrading words, try to reinforce the positive things. This method of reinforcing positive behavior before things get heated will help to reduce conflict. Try using some of the following:

  • I would love it if you did ...

  • I appreciate when you do this ... instead of ...

  • I really benefit when you ...

5. Be willing to negotiate

At the end of the day, some relationships are worth more than the topic being argued. In these cases it is particularly important to reach a happy medium. These compromises can go a long way in keeping both parties at peace.

  • You can ask for solutions the other person sees fit for the situation.

  • You can reduce your request.

  • You can offer your own compromise.



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