By Talia Singer
“The aim of an argument should not be victory but progress”
We all argue with the ones we love from time to time. Now and then we get caught up in the heat of the moment while other times it’s a little easier to have some perspective and self-control. Here’s a few tips on how to argue with someone that will leave more room for progress and less room for hurt:
Take your time – There is no reason to just blurt out thoughts. Take a few breaths and think before you say your next statement in an argument. Also, don’t feel pressured to make a statement there and then. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for time to consider things.
Only use facts – Only use the exact facts to prove your point and then let them come to the conclusion. You will water down your statement adding in your feelings or your perception of the situation.
Don’t generalize – Saying “you always” or “you never” can be really frustrating to somebody that is being accused. Maybe they have done it once or twice but chances are it is not every single time.
No name calling – There is nothing worse then being compared to someone that is despised by others. Most likely you will regret saying this and the other person will be hurt badly.
Treat others how you want to be treated – This was a lesson from kindergarten and it is still important. Don’t raise your voice at someone
and then expect them not to reciprocate. Don’t expect to have a completely accepting resolution. A completely accepting environment with little bias only really exists in a therapy office. In the rest of our lives our friends and family have their own experiences that require equal attention.
Finally: Be Prepared to Walk Away – If an argument is not getting anywhere, feel free to tell the person that although you’re not done
discussing something you feel the conversation is not getting anywhere at that time.
Talia Singer, PhD,RN, RP, is a Registered Nurse, Art Pherapist and Registered
Psychotherapist at Acutoronto Wellness Clinic. She is an approved Blue Cross mental health care provider. Contact Acutoronto to book an appointment today at (416) 486-5222.