How to Stay Calm and Turn an Argument Around
By Sandy Schroeder
In a world as busy and varied as ours, inevitably disagreements, arguments and outright fights are bound to come up. As we surge along, it's easy to become impatient or upset with friends, family and co-workers, as we try to stay on track and get things done. One remark leads to another and soon you have a full-blown argument. It may seem like others are deliberately trying to thwart you, but actually when you look closely there is more to the story.
Switch Your Viewpoint
MindBodyGreen.com recently posted some advice on how to stay calm and think clearly when arguments come up. They suggested some ways to stop fights and prevent future ones. They call this "relationship jujitsu."
Jujitsu is an ancient Japanese martial arts practice that turns an opponent's energy back on them. To apply that philosophy to an argument means doing a flip on the usual negatives and looking closer at what you are doing and what your opponent might be dealing with. Sometimes we know the person well, sometimes not, but finding out more might help.
Try the following approaches.
Flip the question - Instead of focusing on why the other person irritates you so much, think about why you are upset and what that may have to do with where you are right now. You may still be upset, but it might help you see the whole situation instead of just your side of the issue.
Look further for answers - Instead of trading angry remarks and sarcastic comments, ask yourself why the other person is so upset. Really listen to what they are saying and see if you can understand how the disagreement came about. When you pause and listen, there may be real reasons for both of you to be upset, but you might understand them better and see new solutions.
Give the other person some credit - Realize they are probably doing the best that they can with their situation. Ask yourself what you really know about the other person, and if there are any areas of common ground. As you analyze the situation and try to see the other person's viewpoint, keep an open mind and keep looking for better answers.
Realize you are both unhappy - You may have a headache or an upset stomach after a major argument or disagreement, but the other person is probably not doing so well either. Pausing to look for peace may be a welcome idea for both of you.
You may not magically make all of the issues disappear with these approaches, but it might soften the ground and make both of you see each other as real people instead of angry opponents. Whenever an argument comes up, give them a try first.
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