Top 7 Ways to Solve an Argument


by Jake McMillan

Following the previous post Top 5 Ways to Create an Argument, I thought it was only fair to outline the Top 7 Ways to Solve an Argument:

1. Control volume of your voice
Raising your voice will automatically put the person in a defensive position.

2. Focus on the issue not the person
Make it clear you have a problem with the issue and not with the person overall to avoid making the argument personal. Also, avoid mixing in other bottled up arguments, keep it in on the issue at hand.

3. Take a timeout if needed
If the argument is getting nowhere then use a timeout to allow both parties to take a breather, to calm down and collect their thoughts.

4. Be careful of language used
Using terms like ‘Always’ and ‘Never’, e.g. “You never clean up the kitchen”, will automatically wind up the other person and will sound like you are being irrational and/or exaggerating. Phrases or terminology that blame the other person will not help solve the argument. Insulting and name-calling only adds fuel to the fire.

5. Listen!
In a full blown argument people tend to just talk or shout their point rather than actually listening and taking on board the view of the other person. Showing you understand their point of view, even if you disagree with it, will help the two of you resolve the dispute.

6. Careful of body language
It is suggested 80% of all communication is non-verbal, so it is not just the words you say but how you stand, how you use your arms/hands can all contribute to an argument.

Avoid:

  • Pointing your finger
  • Crossing your arms
  • Standing too close (seems aggresive)
  • Not giving eye contact
  • Raising your eyebrows

Try:

  • Open gestures (arms open, palms up)
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Smiling (genuine)

7. Find a win-win resolution
Think about if the best result of the argument is you winning the argument or you both being happy? Finding a way that both can win is clearly an ideal resolution. By focusing an argument on this win-win scenario will help it be less confrontational and emotional.



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