Learning how to have a '˜good' argument

Tuesday, 4th July 2017, 10:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:33 am
Rev Sean urges people to build bridges, not walls

ACCORDING to a Daily Mail article in 2011, couples argue 312 times a year – mostly on Thursday at 8pm for 10 minutes.

Whether it be between couples, family members or work colleagues, there is always going to be conflict.

Jerry Hall, an American research expert, suggested: ‘Conflict exists when there are important differences between people which, should they persist and remain unsolved, serve to keep them apart in some way.’

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In other words, conflict arises because all of us see people and things differently.

So, can we have a good argument?

Norman Wright put it this way: ‘Conflict is like dynamite.

‘It can be helpful used in the right way, but it can also be destructive if used at the wrong time or in the wrong manner.’

There are different ways we can respond to conflict.

We can withdraw, determine to win at all costs, give in or compromise.

But I believe the best response to conflict is to resolve it.

How might we do this, especially if it is something which is very important to us?

Are there some Queensberry Rules for having a good argument?

Firstly, focus on learning to control our anger.

This means speaking to one another in a civil manner without shouting or raising our voices or swearing.

Secondly, focus on tackling the conflict – not each other.

Starting conversations accusing the other of ‘always doing this’ or ‘never doing that’ is not good.

It helps more to acknowledge our emotions by commencing with ‘I feel’.

Thirdly, focus on solutions not problems.

It is always possible that one of you or both of you could be either wrong or right.

Rather than create walls that separate you it is better to build bridges by finding a way forward both can say yes to.

Learning to have a good argument may mean Thursday evenings go better than you expect.

n Would you like to contribute to The News community pages?

Would you like to write a community column?

Then e-mail The News at [email protected]