Handling Arguments With Grace

It’s impossible to agree with everyone on everything, which means arguments are bound to happen – especially with the people closest to you. How you deal with these arguments will ultimately affect your relationships, so it’s important to handle these moments effectively, with empathy, grace, and honest communication. Here are some tips!

Why Do Arguments Happen?

Arguments really suck. So why do they even happen? Typically, they start when one person feels strongly that they’re right about something (and that the other person is wrong). Both parties defend their positions, often dismissing what the other person is feeling or saying. Sound familiar? Let’s discuss how to handle ourselves and our feelings before these moments escalate into heated disruptions.

Who’s Right? Who’s Wrong? Who Cares?

Nix the idea that every argument has a winner. Instead, shift your focus and accept that everyone has different perspectives for different reasons. Ultimately, understanding a person’s point of view is more important and beneficial than walking away “victorious.” Ask questions and have a two-sided conversation where both parties listen to understand instead of listening to respond.

Listen With Purpose

When you talk about your feelings, you want to know you’re being heard, right? Well, make sure you give that to the other person too, whether you agree or not. Actively listen and focus on what the other person is saying instead of only being in defense mode.

Express Yourself

Take responsibility for your emotions and be honest about why you’re upset. Don’t blame the other person; instead, start the conversation with how you feel. Just taking a few seconds to understand your feelings can turn an argument into a discussion.

Stay Kind

Arguments don’t have to be mean-spirited. If hurtful things are said unintentionally, explain how their words made you feel instead of trying to “get them back.” The conversation won’t end well when both parties are out for blood.

Take Five

Cool heads usually prevail. If you need a break from an argument, take it. Often, both parties can benefit from some fresh air. Once everyone has taken their meditation break, regroup and revisit the conversation.

Things You Should Never Tolerate in an Argument

Arguments can get heated; sometimes, we say things we don’t necessarily mean. However, certain things should not be tolerated during an argument, including:

  • Physical violence
  • Verbal abuse
  • Sexual pressure
  • Not respecting boundaries
  • Gaslighting
  • Ignoring you, or refusing to communicate with you

Note: It is never your fault if someone is being abusive toward you. If you find yourself in a scary situation, reach out to a trusted friend, family member, co-worker, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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