4 Sensible Tips on How to Keep an Argument From Escalating
Arguments are an inevitable part of any healthy and growing relationship. It’s healthy because it says in one or way or another that attempts are being made to reconcile whatever it is that’s getting in the way of the choice to be happy. However, arguments can turn into fights and fights can be extremely destructive. So here are 4 tips that I have learned from my own experiences on how to keep an argument from escalating into a fight.
1. Take Some Time to Cool Off. This can be a great opportunity to go and reconnect with yourself and to refocus your attention away from the argument. Try gardening, listen to some music and take a walk, maybe catch up some chores, write in a journal, play an instrument, or paint or draw.
2. Listen to More Than Just the Words and Be Compassionate. This is a challenging one for me because I often get so caught up in my own emotions (what I’m going through) that I completely disregard the emotional struggles of others. After you’ve had some time to cool off and when it’s time to finally come together to talk, remember to listen to more than just the words that are being said. Sometimes as creatures of emotions we’re unable to communicate with words the things that are going on with us internally. For this reason we might practice listening with more than just our ears. That is to listen with our hearts and the wholeness of our being.
3. Focus On the Issue at Hand. This is also another challenging one for me. I have a tendency to not bring up much until I’m being attacked at which point I start firing everything I’ve got. Needless to say, here comes now a whole laundry list of issues that I really didn’t care about to ever bring up before but feel the need to bring up now in response to this perceived attack as a defense mechanism. So now we’re not only talking about one issue we’re talking about all kinds of issues and suddenly a mountain has erected itself before us. So, stick to the issue at hand and work together to find an answer.
4. Write Things Down and Make Contracts With Each Other. It’s easy to forget things that have been talked about, say, 2 months ago. Write things down and make a contract with each other to mitigate future occurrences of things that have already been discussed and that are on a path toward a resolution. This way, you’re both on the same page going forward, and the chances for a true resolution are improved.
If you have any other tips on how to keep arguments from escalating into a fight please share them by commenting below.