Nobody likes arguments. Not because they do not lead to constructive ends, and not because we care enough to say what is bothering us about the other person. It is because we tend to lose our mind from the tension and negativity they are full of.
Arguments are a crucial and healthy part of every kind of relationship. Without them, we would stay in the status quo that does not lead to positive change. We would be stuck with the negative emotions that come out of looking at the problem and not doing anything to solve it.
However, because of the intensity arguments can come with, many choose to avoid them and simply live with the problems instead of tackling them. However, there is no need to lose your mind in arguments.
Every argument can become constructive, and constructive arguments require a mindful approach. Here are three things you need to be mindful of which can help you to maintain your calm during an argument and become able to work out a solution easily.
PREPARATION IS OFTEN KEY
1. If you know that an argument is coming your way, it is best that you prepare yourself mentally for what would follow. It is best to imagine the argument and evoke the feelings that may arise. By allowing yourself to feel the way you would and acknowledge that those feelings are just natural, you will manage to act soberer when the actual argument comes.
2. It is very important to consider the other person’s point of view, and not stick to your own convictions only. You should be aware of what they may be thinking and why they might feel about certain things the way they do. From there, you can construct your approach and achieve the best effect.
3. Think of all the things they could say in response to your arguments and prepare a comeback. Being ready to explain when the argument comes is the best way to truly gain any positive effect from it, so construct your thoughts in an orderly manner.
4. And do not forget to keep your focus on the real purpose of the argument. You should not get into arguments that lead to nowhere. No matter who starts the argument, you should always be aware what it aims for in the end.
MAINTAIN YOUR COMPOSURE
When an argument pops out of the open (regardless of who started it), it is very important to maintain your composure if you want to be constructive. It is pointless to lose your mind because then the argument would be nothing more than vainly generated negativity.
1. Take deep breaths and allow your body to decompress from all the tension that you may be feeling. Some deep breathing will not only introduce more oxygen to your brain (and thus relax), but it will also give you a mental break to set your thoughts right.
2. You need to be aware of your feelings, so do not suppress them. Instead, focus on what you are feeling and address those emotions rationally. Yes, it is natural to feel frustrated, tense, angry, and whatnot, but these feelings will not help you to bring closure to the agreement. On the contrary, they will only lead the argument to dead ends.
3. You can become more mindful and more focused on the topic if you touch or look at some objects. Simply focus your attention on the touch or on the thing you are seeing. This will relieve your tension, and you will stop focusing on how upset you are.
Looking at a distant object (like a picture on the opposite wall) will help you to feel less cornered, as the open vision will give you the perception of having more physical space around you than you actually do.
4. To put the other person at ease, you could smile kindly during the disagreement. In the end, you are both arguing because you care about your relationship. Show some kindness, and you will both relax.
DIFFUSE THE TENSION
Arguments are meant to cause tension. They are meant to pull you out of your comfort zone, and this is good. But tension is the enemy of solution. So, diffusing it is the best way to help the argument reach to a conclusion and not repeat itself.
1. Body language is a strong indicator of how the other person will perceive you. So, in order to avoid the impression that you are being aggressive, mad, or even snobby, you should be careful of what you are doing with your body.
Instead of slouching, pursing your lips, and crossing your arms, remember to keep your face relaxed, place your arms in a neutral position, and stand straight up.
2. Another very important factor in the outcome of the argument is its loudness. Keeping your voice down is a very important thing to do, even when you feel your stress levels rising.
Raising your voice will lead to even greater stress for both of you, and you are likely to become even more upset for nothing. Instead, the best way to maintain your calm is to speak the way you want the other person to speak to you.
3. The best way to cope with the feelings that arise from the argument is to stop tossing the blame and start using “I” statements that describe the way you are feeling. By speaking openly about the way you feel, not only will you feel better and vent out the emotions, but your opponent will also start considering your statements.
So, instead of saying “You always hurt me!”, say “I feel hurt.” This way, you will stop the ‘attack/defense’ mode, and you will introduce a more empathetic way of communication.
4. In the end, you need to ask yourself if the argument is really worth getting upset about. We often let our vanity take over, and we get upset over the silliest of things. In most cases, however, arguments are not meant to make you upset.
Before you jump in the fire, think if that argument is really going to affect your feelings for the other person. If the answer is no, then do not let it. Instead, be as caring as you usually are, and work the misunderstanding out.
Source: How to Stay Calm in an Argument