5 Ways to Diffuse an Argument

By Kimberly Edwards
Writer, Contributor

Arguments are the inevitable part of social interaction. No matter how close, dear and loved a person is to you, there is bound to be an argument from time to time. Dr. Phillip Right said, “Arguments are a natural part of interpersonal relationships. Our goal is to turn more arguments into discussions through the argument diffusion strategy.”

There are bound to be disagreements and differences of opinions but they don’t have to lead to attitudes, raised voices, name calling, and other provoking actions that arguments contain. Arguments come from many angles but mostly stem from miscommunication,
arrogance, failure to listen, unwilling to see another’s perspective, among other things. However, there is hope in the arena of finding a way to get out of an argument fast.

There are 5 proven ways to diffuse an argument and they are as follows: be mindful with your words, listen more than you speak, use phrases with more I’s than you’s like ‘I feel this way when you…’, try to envision the other’s perspective, avoid being accusatory or intimidating.

  1. The first way to diffuse and argument is to be mindful with your words. This means that you need to think carefully before you speak whenever an argument begins. If you are able to control your words, you have a higher likelihood of being able to steer the argument into a discussion.
  2. You should listen more than you speak. When a person notices that you are truly paying attention to what they say, and are trying to understand their viewpoint, they become less
    defensive, more open, and usually change their tone to a more a tranquil level.
  3. If you use more I’s than you’s, you natural sound less accusatory, prevent the other person from jumping to the
    defensive, and prevent the argument from even starting by switching it to a discussion about how you feel.
  4. You must try to envision another’s perspective. If you can’t be open minded enough to try and understand another’s point of view than you will always have an argument problem. Arguments can thrive on miscommunication and if you don’t try to think about the situation, topic, or an idea from another perspective then you are showing the other person you are ignorant and uncaring of others, lacking empathy, and naturally arrogant. People who expect others to accept their own opinions as law and then refuse to listen to another point of view, will always be in the midst of arguments.
  5. The fifth point is to avoid being accusatory and intimidating. In order to get a person to be open, calm and insightful instead of heated, aggravated, and agitated, you must be gentle enough to allow another person to feel comfortable talking calmly. Don’t use accusing statements or word choice that sounds aggressive or intimidating because this is the easiest way to put wood to the fire in any argument.

Mainly, arguments are an inevitable part of life, but can be handled with poise and tranquility with these five methods. Whenever you feel yourself getting into the start of an argument, begin with really
trying to listen to the other person.

The more you understand about another person, the more you will be able to see things from their perspective as well as it being easier to turn arguments into discussions.


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