How to Finish an Argument
Regardless of what you or anyone else believes, there are two fundamental truths that pretty much everyone can agree on.
Firstly, that everyone sees the world differently, from their own unique perspective, altered by their own view, experiences and memory.
Secondly, that nobody in perfect.
This is why there is conflict in society. Sometimes, people make bad decisions, to say or do something that can inadvertently hurt someone they care about. This is why people who love each other more than anything else on Earth will still argue sometimes.
Fighting with someone you love can put you in a seriously awkward and uncomfortable position. It is extremely unpleasant to be torn between wanting to get along with someone you care about and feeling like you can’t get your point across.
The inability to deal with this situation has been the reason why many apparently perfect relationships have fallen apart. If neither party is prepared to stand up and be the first to approach the rift from a calmer, more compassionate angle, things might never get resolved.
But for all the pain and stung feelings, it’s easier to finish an argument than many people expect.
ACCEPT YOU MIGHT NOT WIN
This is no longer about winning or being in the right. It is about resolving your relationship, getting over the hurt feelings and being friends again. And that is it. Until you let go of the pettiness and stubbornness that makes you so hung up on winning, you might as well not bother.
THINK ABOUT HOW YOU WANT IT TO END
If everything goes as perfectly as it ever can, what happens at the end? Think about being friends again, imagine how much better you’ll feel when you get along again. Think about how you will feel when they understand what you have to say and picture yourself offering them that same courtesy.
THINK ABOUT HOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE THAT, FAIRLY
Work backwards. What do they have to learn to understand you? What do you have to ask to understand them? Think about all the different things that you could do to get to that perfect ending you decided on earlier. Accept that it probably won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Think about how you can do this as fairly as possible, taking their feelings and argument in account as well as your own.
Not just with them, but with yourself. Identify where you’re being sensitive, where you may have lashed out because your feelings are hurt. Throw those things away. Take some time to get over them if you have to, just make sure they’re gone.
TALK TO THEM
Calmly. Be polite, be sensitive, be understanding. Explain, from the start, that you want to put this behind you, without the malice and the anger. Sit with them and talk it. Take as long as you need. Don’t get angry, don’t get upset. Explain why you got upset before, ask them to explain their side of it back. Just get everything out there. Completely clear the air.
You might find that you still disagree, even after you’ve discussed everything calmly. Agree to disagree. Accept that you can care about each other and still hold different views. Be prepared to admit that you have hurt their feelings as much as they have hurt yours. Be humble.
Maybe you can’t come to a compromise. Maybe the thing you were fighting about really was that important. But, at least if you decide to part ways here, you at least know that it wasn’t done in a momentary lapse in judgement.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.