As a growing young adult, I have been on various occasions where I have had to engage in an argument with someone. Whether it was with my siblings, friends, teachers, or even my parents – arguments happen. Not all of them may have been serious arguments, but in the end, they’ve all given me some type of new-found knowledge on how to argue.
I am a very outgoing, outspoken and talkative person. This means I love to talk, and I love to be heard. These qualities of mine are great in some situations. For example, if I’m bargaining at the flea market for a lower price on an item or if I order an Ice Cap from Tim Hortons and they don’t fill it up properly, the qualities work. But in the past, those qualities may not have worked when it came to arguing.
Recently I’ve found myself acting more mature in situations of conflict. Knowing what to do and what not to do because of prior experiences. And you know what? It feels great. So today I would like to give you some Prescylla-fied tips on how I learned to argue properly. I think these tips are what helped me to have proper arguments and get past the conflicts that I may have with people who are close to me.
Think Before You Speak.
It’s important to think about what you’re going to say before you speak. Once you don’t agree with what someone is saying, your first thing should not be to worry about telling them why you don’t agree. You should worry about why that person thinks the way they do. Yes, you should because it’s much easier for you to understand your arguee (the person you’re arguing with) when arguing with them so you can resolve the conflict. Essentially you should think about them and not about you.
For example, if the arguee says something completely stupid (in your mind), you have to inquire about why they think that way. Questions like “Why do you feel this way?”, “Please explain yourself?” are good things to start with when arguing before you make your actual point. Once you understand what your arguee is saying you can easily come up with ways to make your point.
Everyone Needs a Chance to Speak.
Including you. You should have a chance to speak and so should the person who you are arguing with. The trick is not to cut each other off and actually LISTEN to what you both have to say. There’s no point in arguing if you’re not listening to the person whom you are arguing with has to say.
I’ve had people come to me with their arguments before and only be able to tell me one statement that the person they’re arguing with had said but then be able to list their various rebuttals. Clearly, they weren’t arguing because if you can’t remember everything that the person who you were arguing with said throughout the argument, you weren’t listening and you weren’t having an argument.
Stay Calm and Don’t Raise Your Voice.
I’ve heard that people raise their voices during an argument because they don’t feel like they’re being heard. This may be true. The being heard part, but let me tell you, you do not need to raise your voice. Staying calm and talking in a normal tone will help keep the argument healthy. You’ll also notice that if the person who you are arguing with is the one yelling and you’re not, they will eventually realize (sometimes they will I can’t guarantee this) that they are unnecessarily raising their voice because you’re so calm. Sometimes it is good to yell and let it out, but save that for the night time and just scream into your pillow or something.
Remember Your Goal is to Resolve the Conflict.
When arguing it is important to keep in mind as to why you are arguing. The reason you are arguing should always be the same; to resolve a conflict. For example, it really annoys you when your sibling walks into your room, leaves but does not close the door (this is one of my biggest pet peeves, but sometimes we have to stop being lazy too and get up and close that door). So you tell your sibling because you want to resolve this conflict between you both. Your goal in this should be that your sibling will finally remember to close the door, not to continuously argue with your sibling about how you’re not being lazy and they’re not thoughtful.
Arguing is sometimes tiring and gets very back and forth, which is annoying. It’s important to remember that you just want to resolve conflict not gain more.
At the end of the day, arguments are good because they are a test to see that you can rise up from conflict and just deal with it. So my best advice when arguing is obviously what I said above and to listen, think, speak with caution and get over it. Sometimes it’s not that serious. Life goes on.