Managing & Preventing Arguments

Fortunately, it’s possible to recognize these types of confrontational arguments and prevent them from occurring. Firstly, it’s important to prioritize communication. Before responding, or getting irritated during a conversation, ensure that you have understood and interpreted what the other person is trying to say. If you are not fully sure of their meaning, ask for a clarification. It’s better to slow down the conversation and keep both parties on the same wavelength than allow miscommunication to cause problems further on.

It’s also good practice to slow down conversation in general. People get irritated when they are trying to communicate if they cannot get their point across. For some people this failure to communicate may be because of some exterior reason, such as background noise, or a lack of eloquence in expressing their idea. Nonetheless, communication often doesn’t occur because conversation is simply too fast.

On the same vein, during an important conversation, focus on addressing and talking about one point at a time. Allow the person to have their full say and express all their ideas relating to the topic before moving on. Normally conversation with other people quickly jumps from one idea to another and neither party gets the time and space to fully explain their point of view.

Whilst it’s best not to over generalize, it’s also important to recognize gender differences. Typically men are less verbose than women. This often leads to men struggling to express themselves compared to their female peers. Of course, this is just an overall pattern and you should appreciate that there are plenty of verbally clumsy women and articulate men.

Nonetheless when trying to communicate between different genders, just realize that not everyone might have the same ability to express themselves in the way you do. This is partially due to biology and how neuroscientists interpret the male and female brains operating differently. However it is also thought to be due to social conditioning, with society encouraging women to talk about their feelings and develop their emotional vocabulary, whilst the emphasis for men is being stoic and self-dependent. Regardless of the cause, you need to be patient and give the other person time to digest the point you are trying to communicate. If you express too many ideas too quickly, the other person might struggle to keep up.

 It’s also important to realize that a degree of argumentation is healthy. Arguments signify that both parties have their own opinion and they are free to express it. Whilst some relationships may be more harmonious than others, it’s very rare to find a close relationship where both parties agree on everything. A lack of argumentation can signal that one person in the relationship is too dominant or too submissive, preventing communication from occurring. It can also signal a lack of emotional investment in the relationship – if someone is just too passive to stand their ground or they give up, they will also not truly be invested in the other aspects of the relationship too.

To clarify, in any relationship, it’s not healthy to be shouting and screaming at one another. However, for any close relationship, problems and irritation with one another will arise. Understand that it’s okay to have arguments with each other from time to time. Often people feel afraid and anxious to say they are unhappy with something, but usually this is because the problem has existed for a long time and failed to be addressed. Instead of nipping a small issue in the bud, it has grown into a blight that feels too big and problematic to bring to light.

Therefore don’t be afraid to communicate even if you think it might lead to an argument. The more you communicate the better both parties will become at it until eventually, you will be comfortable at communicating issues and problems with causing arguments altogether.

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