When your blood is boiling and you’re not going to take it any more, it’s tough to keep your behavior in check. Arguments knock all that common sense out the window.
A few guidelines can help you improve your behavior during disagreements.
It’s so important to take a moment before running off at the mouth. Stop, breathe and stay calm. You have to focus on what you hope to accomplish and why you’re disagreeing. How can you be most effective in resolving this argument?
You must be willing to listen. Don’t focus on just making the other person wrong. Process what he or she is saying instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next. It’s easy to get defensive and be offensive. Listening is key.
Think before you speak. Will your words come across as an attack? Be sure you speak with compassion.
Validate the other person’s feelings to show you’ve listened. Be sure he or she knows you care. Then, you can address any misunderstandings.
Are you fighting over insignificant things like burned toast? There are built up resentments from the past that haven’t been addressed. Look for what hasn’t been resolved before the toast was burned.
When both people are yelling, it’s time to disengage. You’re going to say things you don’t mean. You won’t get resolutions. Step away from the argument until you’re ready to seek a resolution.
You may consider doing a forgiveness inventory every night. What did you do today that was selfish, unloving, judgmental, inconsiderate and uncool? How do you want to be different tomorrow? You can start fresh in the morning and do better. You’ll also find more peace if you’re forgiving of others.
Listen in as Dr. Walter Jacobson joins Dr. Holly Lucille to share how to behave in arguments.