Whether you’re at work, talking to a significant other or discussing something with your kids, disagreements are inevitable. However, they don’t always have to result in relationship breakdowns and excessive strain. In fact, if you deal with disagreements properly, you may find they make your associated relationships stronger than ever.
Like Personal Growth on Facebook
Keep reading to get some useful tips you can put into practice immediately.
1. Practice Active Listening
By letting a person know that you’re listening to what they have to say, you may minimize the overall severity of the disagreements you have with them and may prevent the disagreements from happening at all.
There are many steps that you can go through to show you’re taking part in active listening. For starters, pay close attention to the listener and make it obvious that you’re receiving their message. You can do that by nodding your head or saying, “Mm-hmm” at appropriate times so they know you are engaged.
Active listening also means giving feedback. Check for comprehension by saying, “So, what I hear you saying is…” That way, the person can confirm you are understanding them correctly. Then, even if you don’t agree with whatever the person is saying, maybe you’ll be able to get an expanded perspective about why they hold certain views.
2. Back Away Before You Say Things You Might Regret
If you sense you’re getting to a point where the conversation is so heated that you’re on the verge of saying something that could be very destructive, try to hold in your temper, and realize the best thing to do is simply walk away and let yourself cool off.
Although many people like to resolve disagreements immediately, sometimes it’s ideal to wait for the resolution to occur once you are levelheaded and calm enough to make real progress.
3. Allow Others To Weigh In
When you’re disagreeing with someone, you may feel a lot of pressure to “be right.” That may happen because you feel internal pride or could just come about due to some very strongly held beliefs. Whatever the case may be, resist the urge to dominate the conversation.
Instead, let other people speak their minds. When listening to them, try to do so in a respectful way and realize that they have just as much of a right to be heard as you do.
4. Take Responsibility When Appropriate
Things can quickly fall apart if you get into the habit of placing blame on someone for the disagreement. If you find yourself frequently saying things like, “Everything’s always your fault!” it may be time to re-evaluate what’s really going on. In other words, look at the situation in a way that requires you to ask yourself what role you played in the disagreement.
Chances are that you’ll discover it’s necessary to take responsibility for specific things and own up to them even when it’s hard.
5. Put Yourself In The Other Person’s Shoes
During the most heated arguments, it can be incredibly difficult to empathize with them simply by wondering, “What would it be like if I were in their situation?” Often, if you force yourself to adopt that viewpoint at least briefly, it will be a lot easier to recognize the meaning behind their words.
You may even uncover certain difficulties in their personal lives that caused them to blow up in the first place.
Have you ever noticed that the extent of a person’s reaction doesn’t seem appropriate based on the disagreement at hand? You may eventually find out that they are very stressed because of a separate matter, and that the extra pressure they’re under is ultimately what caused them to react in the ways they did.
Empathy can go a long way when it comes to speedily and thoroughly resolving differences.
6. Take A Deep Breath Before Speaking
The things you say during disagreements can impact the people who hear it for years to come. That’s why it’s so important to choose your words carefully and be mindful of your tone. One way you can keep control of both your actual words and the way you come across is to simply take a deep breath before you start to talk.
That action just takes a second to perform, but it could help you avoid stumbling over words or saying things that you don’t really mean.
7. Understand That An Agreement About The Issue At Hand May Never Be Reached
In many cases, you may not be able to agree about the thing that caused a disagreement to occur. When those instances occur, sometimes the only thing you both can do to retain your sanity is to agree to disagree.
This technique works especially well when dealing with hot-button topics like politics or religion.
You may not be able to agree with someone’s view that a certain politician is doing great things for the country, but the least you can do is say something like, “I respect that we both have the right to form differing opinions.”
8. Approach The Disagreement In The Right Mindset
It’s very unlikely that you would be able to smooth over a disagreement if all the parties involved are feeling furious. In the same way, it was recommended that you step away from tough situations before saying things you’d later regret, don’t expect to get back on good terms if everyone is still in a bad mood and giving cold glares to each other.
However, it’s smart to take the first step towards eventual resolution by mentioning something such as, “Clearly we are all too upset to discuss this calmly now, but I’d really like to bring up the matter as soon as possible so we can try to reach a compromise.
There’s no reason to let this disagreement get in the way of our relationship.”
9. Be Aware Of Your Body Language And Volume Of Speech
Aspects such as the way you stand and the volume of your voice could quickly give people the impression that you’re a lot more hostile than you really are. Keep track of how loudly you speak and make sure you’re not unintentionally doing things that could escalate the disagreement.
For example, keeping your arms crossed and taking a dominating stance could make you come across in a very intimidating way and cause people to become closed off rather than speaking their views.
If that happens, they might keep things bottled up rather than expressing them, which could cause emotions related to the initial disagreement to boil over inside themselves for extended periods of time.
It should now be clear that by making some relatively minor changes to the ways you typically handle disagreements, the outcomes could be better than ever. Besides putting these specific tips into practice, assess your performance after every disagreement.
Are there things you feel you did well?
Are there things that you’ll need to improve upon when the next temper flare-up happens?
By regularly taking stock of your actions in that way, it will be easier to learn and grow.