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One question we hear often from people is about arguing. Now I am sure all of us have taken part in an argument with a parent, significant other or friend. Many people ask the question, “Is it normal to argue in relationships?” Now before we get started we want you to know that each relationship is different and everyone has a different idea of what an argument would look like. Many times our arguments come up because we all are wired a little different, and we all process things differently in our minds and actions. Check out our previous blog to learn more about Personality Styles. However, the simple answer is “Yes” it is common to argue in relationships. Yet the question is not in the “if” but in the “how”.
If you have ever been in an argument, you have probably found the urge to prove your point and stand your ground. Many of us feel this inner urge to win our arguments and claim victory as the smarter one. However, my view changed one day when I met up with a friend at a coffee shop. After a long explanation of the argument I had just had with my spouse, I yelled out, “and I won!” After a few giggles, she looked at me and asked a question that she had been asked years before. “Did you ever realize that if you win, that means your husband loses?” An obvious conclusion, but it switched my view that day. I had such a desire to win arguments and prove that I was right, but did I realize what that did to my spouse?
My husband and I are both stubborn and will dig our heels in to win an argument and one thing we learned with our arguing was that we both had to play fair. The ultimate goal of an argument is not to prove my point, but to find common ground and to hear each other out. And when I started to change my mind about the “how” of arguing, I realized I was spending more time on the fireback response to make my point than to hear the other person out.
All of us are wired different, some of us fight to the end of an argument, others will give in and agree to anything to make an argument end, and others avoid conflict or push it off. Today I want to give you 3 bites to chew on when evaluating the “how” of an argument.
- Remember in every argument, there is always someone losing-
I am one of the most competitive people there is, I love to win, but sometimes my emotions are so focused on winning that are forget that every time I win, my spouse loses. Remind yourself that the goal of the argument is to find common ground and hear each other out. Most of the times in an argument both people are at fault, so instead of focusing on a win, focus on hearing each other out.
- Eliminate the BOO-YAH comments-
All of us can come up with a great comeback response to make our point. But before you share the Boo-yah comments as I like to call them, think and ask the question, “Will this bring resolution and progress the conversation?” If it won’t bring resolution or progress the conversation, hold the comment in. Usually the Boo-Yah comments leave a person hurt or attacked. There is an intimacy that comes with arguments, and if a person feels hurt and attacked in an argument they are more likely to shut down or expect to be hurt in future arguments.
- Not everything needs to be an argument-
We all have imperfections and all of us will have differences. Just because someone is different, doesn’t mean it needs to be an argument. Sometimes we let things become an issue. If you have an issue with someone, have the awkward and honest LOVING conversation before it becomes an argument. Sometimes sharing your honest feelings and thoughts can be a stop sign before the argument happens.
So when you feel an irritation or an argument starting to rise up, remember the goal is to find a common ground, use words that will help and not hurt and confront issues before they get to the point of an argument. If you always find your spouse and you in arguments find help and support and check out EMERGE.