- Gender and Relationships
Tired of Arguing? Try These Easy Ways of Ending an Argument
Each of us have one....OR five as the case may be, of people in our lives who seem to try to constantly start arguments over one thing or another. At times they even seem to enjoy and thrive from the battling. Maybe a spouse, other family member, sometimes right down to our own children seem to want to fight with us regardless of the subject matter in question. Some of us, do not enjoy arguing in any way. I like my life to be constantly surrounded by rainbows and butterflies and to not have to raise my voice. At times I don't always have a choice, but if I did, that's how I would always live, in peace and contentment. Also, I just do not do extremely well with someone else screaming in my face. I'm better with a physical fight than an emotional one. Physical fights are easy. You punch someone. They sometimes punch back. You both get bloody noses, get to shake hands, be friends again and move on with your life! An emotional battle can drag on and on for what feels like an eternity. I don't know about some of you, but after about 8 hours I tend to even have a hard time remembering what I was so very angry about in the first place. Some folks though, can hold onto a grudge like an Olympian holds onto that torch, just running and running NEVER letting it go out! These are especially the kinds of people in your life that you don't want to have huge and long lasting arguments with. Chances are, you may not ever be forgiven. In my experience with arguments, and unfortunately I've had quite a lot, I tend to tick people off without meaning to, I just have that 'Special' quality, but there are ways to deal with these people wishing to argue. When you use these you will generally receive 3 different types of responses: A. You may calm the person down, which this is what we all want in the throws of an argument. B. End the argument completely. Also a good alternative to arguing, however this one can be tricky, you must make sure you really have ended it and this is not going to be one of those 'open-ended' arguments, that will die down now, just to come up and bite you in the you know where at a later date. C. Make your opposing contender angrier. Nobody wants this. Ever. Unfortunately, this can be a very real possibility that I have to warn you about. None of the advice I'm about to suggest is fail proof and decide what parts of this hub you really want to put into practice based on the person you are having the argument with. Every person is different and I cannot guarantee the reaction you can expect, but in my experience with the argumentative people in my life the following suggestions have been helping me out for years and seem to work rather well.
1. SILENCE. Ah, the sweet sound of silence. There's even a song written about it. Sometimes we just love that sound of nothing. Remaining completely silent when someone else is screaming at you, is very difficult to say the least. Each of us has that trigger button built in that can really ruffle our feathers faster than almost anything else. It can be a low blow that will hit below the belt and unfortunately it will always be those who know you and many times love you the best who pull out these 'big guns' aimed at you. This makes it increasingly harder to stay quiet. It is our human nature to want to fight back when we feel like we are being attacked, but try to remain silent. Try to hang onto the reason that you do love this person. If it helps, try to even tune out the yelling, I for one, can't even remember half the things that are said during an argument when someone is screaming them at me. It all becomes white noise after a certain point. So, if it helps you contain your anger, then tune it out for that moment in time. Remember times when you have been angry at that person and you have been easily forgiven. This will help to remind you to keep your mouth shut. Also, keep in mind, especially in relationships, that your partner may honestly just be having a bad day. Many times we get in arguments for no real reason at all. Sometimes when a loved one has a bad day we are the ones that receive the brunt of their anger just because of the simple fact that WE ARE THERE. It happens more than you think. Consider that option if you have truly racked your brain and can't come up with a valid reason as to why someone is picking a fight with you. If you have done something that warrants this argument though, you may want to consider trying to right this wrong once the screaming has desisted. Remember, that once you say that hateful statement you are contemplating, it's out there, it cannot ever be taken back. If you can, hold steadfast to your silent retaliation, then many times the arguing party will begin to calm down. There is a small chance that they may get angrier at first, when they realize you aren't saying anything to defend yourself. When someone starts an argument they are fully prepared for you to fight back, so when you don't this can even stir some more anger on their part. Once they get all that pent up anger out however, they will calm down, realize what's going on, and many times they will even offer up an apology to you, the sneaky silent one. The other positive incentive for the silent method is sleeping well at night with your guilt free conscience. So many hurtful words spoken by both you and your partner/friend/family member are things you would never say to this person outside of the throws of argument and they stay with you. You will remember the awful things you have spoken to your loved one and you will regret it. Guilt is an awful emotion, so I would try to avoid that at all cost by just shutting up.
2. WALKING AWAY. Maybe this sounds like common sense? It may, but I can tell you it takes a strong willed individual to honestly be able to walk away from the midst of a fight while they are being attacked. Every single instinct in our bodies tells us to defend ourselves, fight back, and prove OUR point while crushing the opponent. You must learn where that trigger is in your personality and how to realize that this fight is really getting to that point of getting out of hand. When the screaming and yelling starts on the other end I suggest simply saying, "I will not talk to you like this. I am not going to scream back and forth while we both try to get our points across. When you are ready to have a much calmer 'discussion' not a screaming match, then I will sit down and listen to you and be happy to have a conversation where we can address all of these issues." Then walk away. Go to another room, drive to the store, or take a walk, anything to get out of the current situation. Get some distance. You both need it at that point. The reaction you may receive while using the 'walk away' method can vary. You may receive something similar to what you would receive with the 'silent' method. The arguer may get angry, you may very well be the victim of many MANY insults on your way out the door, but that's alright. Again, once the other person calms down they will most likely eat some crow and bring apologies your way for whatever hurtful things were said. Another reaction that I've witnessed with the 'walk away', is the arguer following you. Just keep walking if they are angry. If they have calmed down, realized that they might be acting a tiny bit crazy, then be willing to sit down right then and address the issues at hand. That will give both of you the much needed chance to clear your thoughts and talk to each other without all the mud slinging.
3. FIGHT BACK. This is the option that will hurt everybody and is a stupid choice. I have to include it anyway though because many people do think like this unfortunately. Many people just jump the gun when they feel like they are being attacked and in no way can seem to keep their mouth shut at all. Pride is such a hassle. To tell the truth though, there is one time and place during an argument that I actually think the 'fighting back' method can be helpful. If you are having a mutual fight, which means neither you or the arguer have instigated this fight but you both just have built up issues or anxieties sometimes it can even be healthy to have a knock down drag out scream fest. Sometimes in lengthy relationships and friendships roadblocks can pop up over time. If one or both of you have kept completely silent about all issues then you will no doubt get to that point where you feel like you are about to explode. So explode you shall. When it's least expected. Especially with your significant other I highly recommend having a sit down discussion, I do not mean argument, a discussion where you both get a chance to vent your issues to the other at least once a month. If you have more problems with each other than once a month can handle, maybe you and yours should try to do it once a week. It really is important to get any problems you have with one another out in the open within a reasonable limit. If you have a problem because your husband farts too much in their sleep, well ya know what, you may have to buy some kind of ears and nose plugs and get over it. If however, he doesn't seem to even understand how to operate the washing machine even though you have requested 50 times at least that he run a load through, that is something that would warrant a discussion. When these discussions cannot be had on a regular basis the 'Fight Back' method will come into play without a doubt and at that point it may be time to play just a little bit dirty. You will be SO fed up at that point with the relationship and all the little faults and flaws that you have no doubt been keeping a checklist of in your mind, they will just spill out like word vomit. Your opposition's discontentment will soon come out as well so prepare yourself. Both parties will no doubt be injured in a dispute such as this, but try to keep in mind that your partner is hurting the same as you. When the time comes forgive each other and make it a point to communicate problems you each may have with the other before it turns into WWIII at your house. Give each other time to sulk and lick your wounds before coming back together for a calm sit down discussion.
Being on the outs with someone you love and who you know loves you in return is a pretty horrible feeling. We have all experienced the rifts arguments can cause and sometimes certain things that our loved one said to us stick with us for a while. It really can leave a painful scar if the argument gets too out of hand. Most of the time I do suggest avoiding fights if at all possible. Having discussions and sitting down on a regular basis to discuss issues and problems in any relationship can help create an environment where arguments are no longer necessary. Maybe not completely, but for the most part. We have all had fights at some point, but I do believe if you really want to work hard on the relationship in question you can learn to live a fight-free lifestyle. Also, if you are the one who causes the majority of the arguments maybe instead of constantly questioning your friends or partner maybe you should take a good look at yourself and see exactly what it is you're constantly arguing about. Pick your battles and learn to compromise a bit. We all want to strive for that peaceful existence not only in our lives but also in the lives of people we care most about. Good luck out there in the battlefields, and remember, sometimes it's okay to leave your weapons at home.