Tips on How to Stop Having the Same Argument

Posted by cfiles on January 22, 2010 under Helpful Tips | Comments are off for this article

Do you want to stop having the same argument again and again with your spouse, children or others? Here are a few quick tips to help make the next one more productive. Think about three things when get ready to discuss a conflict.

  1. What is the issue you want resolved, be clear and stick to just one issues. Second, how do you want the other person to FEEL at the end of the discussion? Third, how do you need to behave during the discussion for him or her to FEEL this way at the end? (example: do you want the other person to feel loved, cared for, valued? Then you need to be how, a good listener, open minded, compassionate, and empathetic?)
  2. Choose your words carefully so not to blame, shame or accuse the other person. Use “I” statements such as “I feel betrayed when you keep things from me” “I feel more valued when you are open and honest”. Instead of “you” or “should” statements that tend to make people defensive. (Example: you always keep things from me, you can’t be trusted ever! or you should have called me instead of being irresponsible and thoughtless.)
  3. If your discussion seems to be going in a negative direction or escalating take a step back and ask the other person the following questions. First, what am I doing in this discussion that is not helpful? Two, what can I do differently that will be more helpful? Third, why is it important to you that I do this?

Remember that conflict is a two way street, always be open to the other person’s needs and wants so he or she can say how they are feeling and how they see the issue. If you want to learn more, please contact me.

Stay on the Path,

Wendy Blackwood, M.S. LPC, NCC

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