7 Tips For Arguing Productively


Disputes cannot be completely excluded from our lives. We argue with our friends, at home, at work. There is nothing wrong with this. A good dispute can clarify many issues as well as improve our understanding of our nearest and dearest. However, if you feel that disputes increase your negative emotions and ruin your relationships, you probably need change the way you argue. Here are some tips below to help you argue more effectively.

Take some time to cool down

Don’t allow a dispute to get out of control. To avoid stressful and useless fights wait until you calm down and be ready to have a productive conversation. Unfortunately, angry opponents say things they don’t mean, instead of discussing reasonable arguments. So, take a deep breath, listen to loud music, beat a punching bag, or find another safe way to blow off steam. Then you will be ready to take a next step.

Figure out what is a purpose of the dispute

Your next step is to get to the root of the problem and determine the desired outcome of your upcoming dispute. Maybe, you just want to build your self-confidence at the expense of your opponent? Undoubtedly, such purpose is not a good base for a dispute... During a dispute, stay on topic without focusing on things that were in the past. Don’t waste time and energy on reminding all your grievances. First off all you need to solve a current problem. If past problems are unresolved too, discuss them at another time.

Be polite

You dispute should be about resolving a disagreement, not hurting your opponent. Avoid insulting, labeling, and accusing. Be careful in the selection of words. For example, say “I’m upset when you behave like this” instead of “You’re a bad person!” Be polite and keep your self-esteem.

Choose right opponents

Some people just look for conflicts. So, if you notice that your opponent raises his or her voice and doesn't listen to you, stop the dispute. Take care of your nerves.

Stay away from generalizations

Generalizations are not good arguments. (“You always break promises”). Stay away from such statements, because your opponent can find exceptions and you will not discuss what you want.

Admit your mistakes

Admitting you were wrong doesn't make you weak. On the contrary, only wise and confident people can easily do this. If opponents are not prepared for the fact that they might not be right, a constructive dispute will turn into an unhelpful fight.

Draw conclusions

If a dispute did not bring a desired result, draw a conclusion. For example, your opponent understand your point of view, but no conversation can change his or her behavior. Perhaps, in that case, you should make concessions for the sake of your love or friendship.  

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