In this podcast (episode #514) and blog, I talk about 3 things to never say in an argument.
Arguments are a part of every relationship, but this doesn’t mean we have to just accept that they will be bad or that we cannot learn how to argue better.
During an argument, it's important to communicate in a way that promotes understanding and resolution rather than in a way that escalates the conflict. To do this, here are three things I recommend avoiding during an argument:
- Personal Attacks: Try to avoid making hurtful or offensive comments about the other person's character, appearance, or past mistakes. Personal attacks can cause emotional harm and make it difficult to have a productive conversation.
- Absolute Statements: Try to avoid using words like "always" and "never”, which can be counterproductive. They tend to exaggerate the issue and make the other person feel defensive. Instead, focus on specific instances or behaviors that are causing the conflict.
- Dismissing feelings: Invalidating or dismissing the other person's feelings can quickly escalate the argument. Phrases like “you're overreacting" or “it's not a big deal" can make the other person feel unheard and disregarded.
Instead of saying these things, try to foster healthy communication by using "I feel" statements to express your feelings, focusing on:
- The specific issue at hand.
- Actively listening to the other person's perspective.
- Remembering that the goal of any argument should be to find a resolution or compromise, rather than "winning" or proving the other person wrong.
I also recommend having something like a safe word when you want to talk to someone about something that they did which impacted you or when you know that there will be a major disagreement. Establish a word that you can use in these kind of situations to help reduce tension, and follow up with what you want to say. For example, you could say something like “pancake, I was upset you didn’t do the dishes last night”, with pancake being the safe word. This will help establish an understanding that you’re not “out to get” the other person; rather, you just want to talk about something that affected you and finds resolution.
For more on arguing better, listen to my podcast (episode #514). If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).
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0:30 Three things to never say in an argument
1:00 Why you should never use personal attacks in an argument
4:22 Absolute statements often make arguments worse
5:40 Ways to decompress during an argument
6:50 Arguments should not be about conflict; they should be focused on finding resolutions
8:00 Why we should not dismiss someone’s feelings during an argument
10:20 Why you should use a safe word in arguments
This podcast and blog are for educational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.