How to Argue Effectively

How to Resolve Conflict

In Conflict Remember Each Person is Human

When we experience conflict our ego inflates as a protection mechanism. The ego wants us to be “right” or win the argument. However how can both people ultimately win? It is important to practice the pause when conflict arises. When we are faced with conflict our fight or flight response is triggered and we often say and do things we do not mean because the brain is not functioning logically. After much conflict in my own life and personally shifting to a better place I would like to share my conflict resolution plan with you. 


Conflict causes stress and anxiety which lead to illness and days off work. Conflicts are inevitable in life, but use these tools to help deflate each conflict you come across. Life is about giving and taking and finding balance. Stand up for yourself and set boundaries, but also consider the other persons concerns. Be sure you listen and know that you do not have to solve every problem. Sometimes people just need to be heard.

  1. Realize that both people have fears and vulnerabilities

  2. Ask yourself if what you are arguing about will matter five years from now

  3. Consider taking a time out that is positively expressed so that you can both gather your thoughts

  4. Be aware of your tone and body language

  5. Choose your battles wisely

  6. Eliminate the words ALWAYS and NEVER from your vocabulary

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Realize You Both Have Fears and Vulnerabilities

When you are in a conflict but can see yourself in the other person it makes it difficult to be harsh or mean. Determine if your relationship is worth upsetting that person for. Remember, when you argue, the goal you wish to achieve. I know when my boyfriend and I argue it often is not a productive conversation but rather a lot of blaming and projecting. Once we gained awareness of this, we often pause now and reflect about what it is we actually want to achieve. Then it is easier to speak more gently and resolve the conflict.


Ask Yourself if What You are Arguing About Will Matter in Five Years

If it won’t matter in five years do not spend even five minutes arguing about it. Learning to let go and move forward is a blessing. If it is something important that will matter in five years then take the time to compose your thoughts and be sure to separate emotion from thought.


Consider Taking A Time Out

Telling the person you are in conflict with that you need a time out allows both people to calm down. Walking away and giving the silent treatment with out expressing the need for a time out leaves the other person feeling stonewalled or abandoned which leads to increased anxiety. Consider composing your thoughts in letter format and reading it several times before exchanging the letter. Often when we write our thoughts down they become more clear. And remember, say what you mean and mean what you say. Words can be forgiven but rarely are they forgotten.


Be Aware of Your Tone and Body Language

When we speak softly and avoid yelling we can ease anxiety for both people. We are naturally more capable of listening when we are not being yelled at. You do not need to raise your voice to convey your concerns in fact it is always better not to. When we do not feel heard it is natural for the voice to elevate. Let the person know that you hear them even if you do not agree or understand. Closed fists and crossed arms tend to signal being closed minded. Put the person at ease by relaxing your arms, shoulders and hands.


Choose Your Battles Wisely

This was sage advice my mom often said when I was growing up. I use it a-lot as a parent now as well. When something is very important that may be something worth fighting for set and keep your boundaries. For example; when raising my children I would put them in time out when they were disrespectful. Teaching them respect was very important to me. If my children broke something we would talk about being more careful but I did not put them in time out because that was a mistake and mistakes are how we learn.


Eliminate the Words ALWAYS and NEVER

Those of you who know me know that I am a firm believer in moderation. The words always and never are not only extreme, but they are downright impossible. In conflict these two words are used far too often. Eliminate them from your vocabulary and watch the tension decrease in conflict. Also, try to use “I statements” and this will reduce the feelings of blame and shame.


Peace, Light, & Love,

Libby

P.S. Please email me at Libby@journeytothelifeyoulove.com for Life & Wellness Coaching. Sessions can be done by video conference, in person or via telephone. For more information on why a coach will help you please click this link http://www.journeytothelifeyoulove.com