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How to Argue with your Husband, Wife, Father, Mother, Friends

How to Argue With Your Husband, Wife, Family, Friends

Joyce Webb 2010

Argue means to fight with words.

Why do we argue with people?

Because we want things to go the way we see it.

If we did not care if things went "our way" then there would be no argument.

We all are somewhat selfish. We like things to be the way we think they should be.

If you have two people together----there is going to be times when you see things with a different mind and understanding.

If we could see into each others minds and saw how they thought ----and why they came to the opinion (their idea of what is right)----we probably would not feel the anger we feel when we argue.

We can not read the mind of another person. We have to wait for them to explain. Some people can share and explain themselves better than others.

Arguing is something most of us will do.

It is important to "learn how to argue" correctly.

In high school there are classes in speech and public speaking. In those classes there is a part where you learn to have a "debate" with someone who has a different opinion.

There are two sides----two teams. One side gives all the reason why a thing is a good idea, the other side gives all the reasons a thing is a bad idea.

The side who is for it, is the "pro" side. The side who is against it, is the "con" side.

The difference between a debate and an argument is the anger.

In a debate one side is for it and one side is against it. They tell their opinions. They are not angry. They try to get the other side to see their idea is a good one. But they do not become angry if the other side does not change their mind.

In an argument, anger can be at a low level or high level.

In an argument, each person has the purpose to change the other person's mind. And if that does not happen, anger grows.

Soon the anger becomes telling other person they are dumb or stupid,

calling them names, hitting or worse.

Some people just shut down and will not speak. They become silent and will not talk to the other person.

It is important for people to agree on some things.

A wise person understands what things you need to agree on and what things are okay to have a different opinion.

You should be able to tell people in your own family what your opinion is. To have close relationships with people, we have to be able to tell our thoughts and feelings. If we do not, then it is like an acquaintance.

An acquaintance is someone you know a little. You talk to them about not important things---polite conversation.

When we have strong ideas and feelings about things, it is hard to talk about them and not show how we feel. Our feelings come out.

If the other person has said something that is opposite to what we think, the strong feeling we have comes into our talking.

The other person sees that feeling. The strong feeling now gets the attention more than the words.

The argument become more about winning and feelings and not about the thoughts and ideas.

Often when an opposite thought is spoken, the other person does not give respect to that thought.

They put it down. They throw it back at the person as not important, not having value, dumb, stupid, not worth listening to.

The person who said the opposite idea has now been insulted. What he thinks has been considered not important, stupid, not worth thinking about.

He feels put down and made little ---not important.

He stands up for his importance to have his idea. Anger begins.

The other person says their idea is better.

Then they are "put down".

They begin to stand up for their idea. More anger.

Anger grows. Each person tries to protect their feeling of value. The ideas that started the argument have been forgotten and what has become important is being right so we can protect our feeling of worth.

Talking about opposite ideas is important and must be done. Agreement needs to happen. Anger needs to stay out of the talk.

1. When opposite ideas are spoken. Control your feelings and anger.

2.Speak your idea and thoughts. Do not say it in anger.

3. Listen to the other person's thought. Do not cut them off, so you can say your idea. Let them finish.

4. Do not say their idea is stupid. Saying their idea is stupid is like say they are stupid. No one wants to hear he is stupid. Everyone thinks his ideas have value. Show respect for their thoughts. (You may think they are stupid ideas---but do not say it or show it----be wise and kind.)

5. Everyone opens up to kindness. Everyone shuts down to insult and mean talk. If you want to come to an agreement, you need to have everyone open.

6. Speak with respect to the other person, even to children. Everyone no matter their age wants respect for who they are and the thoughts they have.

7. Do not shut down and refuse to talk. Not talking will not bring an answer or agreement.

If the other person is speaking in anger and the anger is controlling the conversation---then say you will not talk about it now, but you will talk about it later. Then set up a time to talk about it when the anger is less.

8. Keep the time to talk about. Do not say you will talk about it later just so you can put it off and ignore it.

Choose a time when you both have time to sit down calmly and each one tell their ideas. Listen to the other person. Do not cut them off so you can say your idea.

9. Respect what they say. Speak to them with respect.

Respecting what they say does not mean you agree. It means you give them the right and freedom to have value as a person to have their own thoughts and ideas.

10. If their thoughts make you feel angry. Say it. Say: "That makes me feel angry when I hear that." Just saying you feel angry helps you control the anger.

If something they say makes you feel hurt or made to feel little---say it. Say: "When you say that it makes me feel little and not important." "When you say things like that it hurts my feelings." Say it.

Rather than just act it out. Saying it helps to control the feelings and it speaks to the other person. They do not have to guess how you feel---because you just told them how you feel.

Men have trouble saying how they feel. Some of them have never taken the time to think about how they feel and put a name to it. So then they can not tell how they feel. They do not know themselves.

Men think about it. Name your feelings. Say your feelings, especially to your wife. She needs to know how you feel.

11. Arguments and discussions do not have to just happen in the moment. You can plan to talk about things. If you have things that you know the other person does not agree with you about, then have a planned time to talk about it.

Plan what you will say. Write down on a paper some of your thoughts. Then you will not forget some important things.

12. If you can not come to an agreement in one time, talk about it again later.

Maybe you will need a third person to join in the talk to help the two of you to come to an agreement.

13. If you have children, try not to have arguments in front of your children.

For big discussions about things, try to plan a time to talk about it when the children are not there to listen.

If an argument happens in the moment, try to remember who all may be watching and listening. Children feel upset when they hear their parents argue. They worry when they see their parents angry. It makes them feel not safe. They worry that Mom or Dad may leave, or that Mom or Dad may hurt each other, or hurt them.

14. As a grown up you understand that not everything can go the way you think it should be. Other people should be able to have things their way, too.

Think about what you are arguing about. How important is it to be the way you see it? Does it have to be done in the exact way you think?

Important things are about being truthful, honest, not sinning, being responsible, being respectful.

Important things in running a house is about spending money carefully and wisely. Showing responsible decisions about how to spend the money. Not being careless and wasting it.

Sharing in the work of the household and yard. One person can not do it all.

Important things in a loving relationship is being respectful, caring, kind, gentle, interested.

Sharing time, telling how you feel, showing and telling the other person that you love them.

Be willing to give time to be with them. Be willing to talk and visit. Have conversation.

For husbands and wives--giving time to show love in physical union.

If work, and other people take up all your time and use up all your energy and strength---then you have put that first in your life and your loving relationships will be weak and may stop.

Loving relationships need care as a job, or other things you do.

If they are ignored because you ran out of time, or energy----they will not continue to be loving.

Loving needs to grow. It needs to be fed so it can grow. It is like a plant. You can not buy a plant--then ignore it. It will die.

You can not have a loving relationship if you ignore it, or give little time or energy to it. It will die.

15. Many arguments start about little things. Then anger takes over and it grows until it blows up.

It is the "little things" that start anger. When we see our anger over a little thing----we need to stop ourselves and think----is this important enough to make an argument out of? Maybe it is not that important and I can ignore it.

If it is important. Think. Can I get this little thing changed in another way? Can I change something so it does not happen? Do I need to change where things are? Do I need to change how things are done? Do I need a list so it is not forgotten? Do I need to put this item somewhere else? Do I need to plan and have things ready?

If you need to say something, think. How can I say this in a kind way? What words should I use so I can explain how I feel without making them feel like I am criticizing them? How can I say this to give them direction of how I want it done without criticizing and blaming?

People do not usually mind directions. They do not like to be criticized or blamed. They do not like to feel like how they did something was not a good as your way.

If it is important enough to have done your way----

Make sure that when you tell the person what you want and how---that you are not putting down their idea of doing it-----but that you have special reason to do it the way you are saying. And would they be willing to please you by doing it your way?

Most of the time arguments carry the feelings of anger, blaming, "I'm right, you're wrong" feelings.

These feelings ride over the words that are being said.

We often complain that the other person does not listen. Probably not. They have just had an overload of blame thrown at them before the words got out. They had a shield of defense up before the words even came.

They were thinking so much about protecting themselves that they did not hear the words.

When we live with people day after day, we forget how tender feelings are. We forget how much we all want to people to think only good about us. We do not like to be blamed.

If we could all learn to speak to others without blaming or making them put up a shield of defense, we could get our ideas across much better.

That still does not mean then that all our ideas will be accepted.

But it will help in the other person to be open to listen.

16. Pray about the things that happen that upset you. Ask God to give you the ideas of how to fix the problem.

God can help you find an answer. He may give you an idea of something you can change so the problem goes away.

God can help you keep control of your feelings, especially anger, when you tell the other person what you want changed.

God can help you choose the best words when you talk.

God can help you have feelings of forgiveness, and love.

God can help you learn to be patient.

God can help you learn what is something important enough to "argue" about, and what is something than can be changed in another way.

Some times we need to give up being so sure something has to be the way we see it. Maybe we need to let go of the control of some things.

God knows. If you truly want His help and guidance He will give it.

Our problem is that when the Holy Spirit speaks softly to us, we ignore it.

We have too much pride to change. We are too determined that we are right.

Sometimes the other person is truly hard to get along with. They have no desire to do things to please, or help, or take their responsibility.

That needs more prayer. It may need a third person to help talk about things.

Some big arguments about important things may never come to agreement. Then you will need to decide what you will do.

For most of our living everyday, it is the little things that we argue about. It is the little things, that we let make us angry and say things that hurt others.

This hurt begins to shut people down from us. The loving relationship begins to lose its happiness.

These are the arguments that we can change and do better.

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