Arguments happen. There are times when you, or a family member, are feeling attacked, threatened, not heard or understood and as a result you (or they) become defensive and reactive.
So what do you do when you want someone to hear you, or do something, and they are just not listening or cooperating?
Yell, scream, cry?
That may get you heard, may even get results, but not really the best way to get your needs met (and certainly something you don’t want to model for your children). These behaviors cause hurt and fractures in the relationship. You may win the argument and get your way, but you may harm the relationship by doing so.
Stuff it all down and figure ‘why say anything, it’s always the same’?
That will only cause you to feel disconnected and unfulfilled by not allowing the other person to realize your feelings. You disrespect yourself, and your needs, when you do this behavior, and sadly it comes out in other ways (addictions, eating, anger blow ups, depression, etc)
So how do you stop an argument?
Remain Calm. Yup, pretty simple and oh so effective! By remaining calm you stay in control of your feeling and thoughts do not default to reactive behavior. By remaining calm you can listen to what it is YOU need and also hear the other person point of view, even if you absolutely disagree.
So how do you remain calm in the storm of an argument?
There are many ways, some of these may work for you:
Say you need 10 minutes to calm yourself down and then you’ll come back to discuss it more
Set a boundary that it’s not OK for the other person to yell, and you’ll listen if they talk in a way that you can hear them without yelling
Listen without interrupting the other person
Ask yourself what you need right now and respect that
Detach from being “right”
Look at the person with love and compassion.
There is a saying I’ve heard, “When you have the choice between being right and being kind, choose kindness”.
Look at disagreements as opportunities to strengthen the relationship, allowing for different points of view and a mutual respect of each others opinions.
You can use the art to explore how you typically respond to arguments and disagreements. Often when people do this they see a pattern from their childhood of how they responded to disagreements in the past. Make a commitment to be aware of your patterns and shift how you respond.…