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5 Ways to Avoid Arguments

The Best Way to Avoid Arguments is to Prevent Them

Here are five great tips from Karen Card, who offers powerful Dating Help and Relationship Advice In Saint Petersburg and Clearwater, FL.

#1: Ask for Clarification
If you feel upset by something that was said, first start by believing the other person never meant to upset you. Then you need to ask for clarification, “What I heard you say was ______ (repeat in your own words), is that what you meant?” or “I know you didn’t mean to upset me, but what I heard you say was _____.” Most of the time, you have misunderstood what the other person was trying to say. Recognize it as a “miscommunication,” then talk about the difference in what you heard vs. what was meant. By talking about it, you can prevent this subject from bothering you in the future.

#2: Don’t bring other people into it.
To keep an argument from growing, avoid asking others to take sides. You don’t want to turn a disagreement between two people into a war with many people. It usually feels better if we can get validation that our side of argument is right and the other person is wrong. But, avoid this, as it only puts your family/friends in a tough situation.

Most of the time, we don’t want confrontation, so instead of asking for a clarification (see #1 above) we choose to go to a friend or family member to ask them to help us deal with the situation. However, it is much quicker and more effective if you are the one to handle it. Don’t think of it as a confrontation, think of it as a discussion to get a better understanding of their meaning.

#3 Diffusing comments
Have these comments memorized and ready to reply at the beginning of an argument to diffuse it before it starts.

“This is probably way more important to me than it is to you, but I would like it if you _____.”

“I’m sure you didn’t mean to upset me when you ___, but I would appreciate it if you did _____ instead.”

“I read this blog that told me to ask you what you really meant when you said ____”

#4 Plan for Conflict
If there is no way to avoid a conflict, go ahead and plan ahead for it. Most important rule in arguing is: NO name-calling. You can say the other person acted like a jerk, but NEVER say that they are a jerk. Be mad at the behavior, not the person.

Also, to plan ahead, identify the other person as a “Runner/Withdrawer” or a “Yeller/Confronter”. During an argument, if the other person is a “Runner/Withdrawer,” you need to let the Runner run. Let them walk away from the conflict, but only for a limited time, and they must return to finish it. Say to them, “Let’s not talk about this anymore right now. I’ll meet you back here in 30 minutes.”

During this 30 minutes, the “Yeller/Confronter” must work on cooling down. It is very helpful to spend the time writing down your argument points, so you are ready to finish the discussion calmly and without raising your voice.

#5 Last Resort
If you have tried #1-#4 above, and you still are involved in a conflict, don’t worry. First step: stay calm. Second step: Avoid showing Anger. Third step: Make one of these statements and walk away. “I’m sorry you feel that way,” or “Why would you ask that?”

Remember, the goal is not for one person to win and the other to lose. The goal is to settle the conflict so that both people are happy.

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