Arguments are inevitable in our personal and professional lives and we are all faced with situations that require balanced reasoning to resolve. Knowing how to argue effectively is a cognitive skill that is important to develop.
Below are a few tips for arguing effectively:
– Speak clearly and seek clarification if you haven’t understood something. Don’t make assumptions or argue further about something you think you heard
– Focus on one argument at a time, try not to bring up past issues or grievances
– Try to stay calm. Don’t raise your voice or point your finger. Take a breath, take a few seconds and think about what you want to say
– Don’t use sarcasm
– Try to sit down and avoid standing over the other person, body language is important, it has the ability to diffuse or aggravate a situation.
– Listen actively and patiently. Don’t talk over the other person
– Take responsibility for yourself and your feelings. Don’t criticise the act or what was done, instead focus on your feelings. Instead of “ you have”, say; “I feel”
– If the argument is escalating and attempts to resolve are not working, take a break and agree that you will come back to the discussion
– Focus on points you can agree on. Finding a compromise is a positive for everyone involved
– Look at the argument from the other person’s point of view. This ability to relate and emphasise is essential
– If you are in the wrong, apologise. Cooperation is built on respect
It’s always a useful exercise to reflect on what triggers you. Staying curious and seeking to understand why you react the way you do, or what gets you upset, opens up avenues for personal growth.
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*This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information is not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.