Tuesday, February 6, 2018

20. How to lose an argument and win a relationship?

Have you sometimes found yourself arguing with people? All of us may have had occasions to enter into arguments with different kinds of people. Arguments have their place in life. Lawyers have to argue in courts and lawmakers, in legislatures. There may be situations where we may have to argue with officials and various kinds of people we come across in our day to day life.

But there is one area which should be kept out of reach for arguments. It is the area of relationships. When it comes to a friend or family member or even a neighbor or colleague, we should consciously avoid arguing with them.

This advice may appear obvious but many people don't follow this. Marriages have been rocked and friendships have been broken by arguments.

Just think why we argue with someone close to us. We have a different idea, perspective or opinion about a subject. Sometimes, the subject on which we have differences may be important to us. A husband may argue with the wife on who should drop their child to the school. You may feel that you have practical difficulties in taking up this responsibility and hence may feel the urge to put forth your point of view to your spouse.

Well, if the objective is to make your spouse accept your point of view, then an argument will seldom help you. Often, the argument will become counterproductive. Your argument may result in your spouse becoming more strongly attached to their point of view.

In fact, all arguments result in both the parties becoming more hardened in their stands. So, why should we resort to argument at all?

Whenever you find yourself arguing with someone with whom you have a close relationship, make it a point to terminate the argument on a friendly note. You should focus on making the other person appreciate your point of view even if they don't accept it. You can make a beginning by appreciating the point of view of the other person and expressing it openly, even while indicating that you have a different take on the subject.

Such an approach will create a space for you to work together and help you narrow down your differences and find a way to work together.

Please remember that in a situation where you have to work together with another person, an argument should have no place.

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