How To Defuse An Argument

August 15, 2017

Most people like to avoid confrontation, especially when it comes with someone you work or live with. Most confrontations occur when a conversation turns into an argument. The best way to keep an argument from boiling over is to defuse the situation and for that we need to find out why the argument began.  While you may naturally assume it began with events in the immediate past, you need to dig deeper.  Most incidents are born days or weeks prior.  So if your spouse explodes because you left a dirty dish in the sink, most likely the argument isn't over the dishes. So to defuse the fight and get to the root of it by remaining calm, ask "what do you want from the argument" or "what is it you want to accomplish with this fight".  While it may sound like you are adding fuel to the fire (remember to keep you your tone and demeanor in check when asking), you are allowing that person an opportunity to tell you the root of the argument.  Then by listening and reacting appropriately (remain calm), you can find out it wasn't about a dirty dish but how you didn't say "I love you" when you left for work the other day. Once you hear what an issue is, you can respond (again, calmly and respectfully) and address their concerns. Or, even better, you can just respond with “I hear you,” because you did, in fact, hear them. Maybe you still disagree, but in some cases, that’s still ok. Often just acknowledging that you hear and understand the other person’s point of view might be enough to end the conflict. 

SOURCE: Lifehacker

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