7 Keys to Improve Your Arguing Skills
Do you think that arguing well can be an art form? Maybe not, but arguing doesn’t have to turn into an uncomfortable situation. You don’t have to attempt to always avoid and stay away from it. It’s important to be calm and have common sense. As Noel Claraso said, “many yell and argue until the other person shuts up. They think they have convinced the other. And they are always wrong.” This is as false but common conclusion.
Remember that no matter how much you despise arguing, sometimes it is inevitable. Be it with a family member, a partner, friend, coworker or even a boss. The important thing is to make sure it is not unpleasant. Instead, it should be a polite exchange of differing points of view.
The keys to improve our arguing
As human beings, at some point we will have to have arguments. It’s inevitable in many occasions when assertiveness is called for. That is when having clear points can be a lifeline. These will help you not spend days mulling over something that shouldn’t really be that important:
- Don’t forget to remain calm at all times. There are not very many people in the world that like to be yelled at. You can be sure of this. So, why do you do it? It is important to try to not get upset and always maintain a relaxed attitude in a supportive environment. You have to remember at all times that an argument is simply a contrast between to points of view.
- Arguing well is the same as building or creating. In fact, you can learn a lot from a good conversation, even when you don’t agree with the points of view of the other person. Why not try to have bridges of understanding? Why not focus on the things you have in common, instead of having arguments that separate you?
“It is best to debate an issue instead of resolving it, than to resolve it instead of debating it.”
- This article began with a wise quote by Noel Claraso. Interestingly enough, withdrawing in time before the situation gets out of hand is a clear victory. If you can’t come to an agreement, it is also not necessary to let the conversation degenerate into insults, yelling or defamation. It is best to hold one’s tongue and focus on something more productive.
- Imposition is completely the opposite of adequate arguing. The conversation should be governed by understanding and mutual agreement.
- Active listening is necessary to any discussion. Monologues, no matter how well-founded they may be, don’t have to be accepted by the listener. It is much more productive to understand other points of view and to be able to contrast them with your own. This way you will find common ground and mutual understanding.
- Forgiveness and apologizing are the perfect tools to a good argument. These keys are especially necessary in conversations between partners, friends and family members. It is of no use to coerce someone into positions that no one is comfortable with. Pay attention to what each person has done wrong, and rectify or backpedal.
- There are phrases that should never be used in a discussion. Telling your listener “I told you so”, “I knew it”, “You won’t be able to understand this”. Or “It’s not that big of a deal”, “If you had done what I told you to do...”, “You are so ignorant”. In other words, refrain from saying anything that you know will hurt the other person. This is a serious mistake that you should avoid if you don’t want the situation to end badly.
Arguing well is not the same as winning
In order to argue well, you have to keep in mind that the situation never stops being a conversation. It is not a competition. Let’s not forget the great phrase uttered by the French writer Joseph Joubert. “The goal in any discussion shouldn’t be triumph, but progress”.
The participants can mutually enrich themselves if their attitude in the argument is a positive and constructive one. On the contrary, the positions held by the participants will be ever more distant. Mutual benefit will turn into anger, impotence and even rage.
Thus, never forget that arguing well doesn’t have to have negative aspects. You can avoid this if the attitude with which you face these situations is the appropriate one. With patience, understanding and a willingness to learn from others and enrich your points of view, everything is much more simple.