Big Arguments

Do arguments ever need to be big?

What if we could learn to communicate better and improve our nonviolent communication? This takes humility and empathy. It requires an ability to listen to others’ subjective experience and acknowledge that we’re not the only ones who are “right”.

Arguments are hard because our Lizard Brain goes into overdrive and dictates our emotions and behaviour. It’s difficult to overcome the primitive “fight or flight” responses. But if we want to be able to “argue well”, we need to practise nonviolent communication – we need to be mindful of our words and actions in a heated moment. We need to have the emotional maturity and intelligence to diffuse “big arguments” into disagreements. We can practise our ability to be empathetic and listen.

An important part of this – one that I’m still a bit rubbish at – is the ability to admit we’re wrong and apologise after an argument. It’s hard to say: “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Thank you for the opportunity to hear how you feel and think about this.”

How do you respond in arguments? What are ways you find to keep calm in heated situations?