Arguments are one of the most common things around. We argue about stupid things every day, things that don’t matter like where did my stuff go? Those stupid things often escalate into more serious things because we let them get out of control. In the end we don’t even realize what we were arguing about in the first place. This is a regular occurrence every day between friends, families and loved ones. It’s most often caused because one person loses control in an argument and explodes at the other person, maybe letting a cruel comment slip out in their anger, spiraling the argument out of proportion.
Don’t do that.
The first and often the hardest part is realizing how ridiculous what you’re arguing about really is. I had an argument about coat hangers a few days ago. I mean really? Coat hangers? Utterly ridiculous. Of all the useless things to get angry about, why do we waste our time?
At the time it seems important.
Looking back, that was a complete waste of time, and it’s so obvious in hindsight. But at the time, these small things seem like a really big deal. Why? It’s a combination of always wanting to be right, and not keeping a cool head. We’re sure our information is right so we push our issue into a discussion to try and figure it out. Once you’re in that discussion, and we’ve all been there, one comment rubs someone the wrong way and they snap. It can be a totally innocent comment, but maybe that person is having a bad day, or they’re stressed out, it really doesn’t matter.
Someone starts yelling. I’m sure you’ve done this before, you start yelling or raising your voice, and it suddenly seems like a very good idea to bring up that other thing that’s been nagging at you for the last few days. Naturally, the other person who is being yelled at is suddenly now being accused of something totally unrelated to the original issue. Everything blows up. Once everything starts you can’t stop it. You get emotional, you stop thinking, you throw everything on the table. You say thoughtless hurtful things in the moment because you’re not thinking and you cause damage to your relationship. Nothing but problems.
So why do it?
Now imagine instead you didn’t snap. You stayed calm. You realize in your head, wow, we’re arguing about coat hangers, how silly is that? Let’s say the issue was you’re missing some hangers. Since you’re calm, you realize that the real issue is not having enough coat hangers. So you don’t explode. Instead you do the smart thing and point this out to the other person. Then you go and buy some coat hangers because they’re insanely cheap. Boom. Problem solved.
So which option was better?
It seems pretty obvious to me. You can either scream and yell and make everything needlessly more complicated. Or you can solve the problem. In that situation, one person stayed calm, identified the problem and found a solution. Now imagine if both parties stayed calm. You bring up the issue that your hangers are missing because you’re confused. The other person asks you how many you need and you figure it out, so they suggest you go buy some. Done. No argument, no discussion, no problems.
Keep a cool head.
As soon as you get angry or start yelling you’ve lost. Sure you might win the argument but you can lose respect, trust and sometimes much more. Don’t snap. Keep your cool. The facts are your friend here. If you ask a question and they don’t know the answer, you end it there and move on to find a solution. If you don’t believe what they tell you then you have a whole different set of issues that you need to work through.
Stay calm. Be smart.
You’ll solve more problems and save yourself a lifetime of stress. It’s hard work and it takes practice, but trust me, it’s worth it.
Are you having similar issues? Let us know in the comments below, maybe we can help!