Prevent an argument from escalating…


One way to prevent an argument from escalating…

When I was younger I had a huge ego and differences of opinion with loved ones (funny it’s always with the ones we love, and not our mates?) used to make me defensive, and an argument would ensue, sometimes escalating into ugliness.

Well, I now know better, but it took me a long time.

During a coaching session one day this man, we’ll call him Steve, was telling me about a very similar issue that he was having with his partner.  He told me that he could always tell when he was getting irate when he felt his face would get hot and he felt his chest getting tense.

Long story short, I asked him how he felt after an argument had escalated.  He said he felt like s**t.

I continued, “And you said you are aware of the signs preceding the argument?” “Yup”, he answered.

“With that in mind, how important is it for you to be right?”  A long period of thought ensued…

After a while, I resumed by asking Steve if this was affecting their relationship in a negative way.

“Big time” was his response.

“So, let me ask you Steve, would you rather be right or would you rather have a happy relationship?”

The ‘Aha’ moment…

“I would LOVE a happy relationship!”

I asked him, “At what point do you think you could do or say something to prevent an argument?”

“I suppose when I start getting those tell-tale signs”

“At that point, what would be your greatest wish?  To remain friends, and be happy, or to be right?”

Meekly, he muttered, “To remain friends, of course”

“So, next time your firm and strong opinion is being challenged, how will you respond?”

I gave him another long time to think.

He eventually replied, “I suppose I would say something like, ‘You know, darling, I value your opinion so much that I promise you I will take it on board and give it some thought”.

“Sounds good to me”, I finished.

Two weeks later he phoned me and I could barely understand what he was saying, he was so excited!  But apparently, an old argument has reared its ugly head again and he was over the moon in that not only had he given up the burning desire to be right all the time, but she had melted and apologised for having such a strong will which she felt she had inherited from her mother.  The love and respect had returned in their relationship.

I love what I do!

If you are not ecstatically happy in your relationship, why not make contact with us?  Positive change might be easier than you think!

Categories : Relationships

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