The Healthy Argument
Is there anything more satisfying than a good old fashioned verbal unleashing to release all the pent up tension you have towards a particular person? You know....all the things you've been suppressing for so long that have now taken its toll, and you just let the flood gates open for a massive rush of yelling and swearing. We've all been at this place, where you're mouth moves faster than what your brain does, and you let fly on all of things that have just grated you for so long.
This kind of unleashing might seem like a good idea at the time. And the adrenaline rush from releasing the so called 'beast' might feel like a breathe of fresh air in the moment. However, the aftermath of, "Oh no's!" And "Did I honestly say that?" And the possible never-ending flow of, "I'm sorry," is more than likely going to hit you like a tone of bricks when the arguing comes to an end.
Let's face it....there is no escaping opinionated confrontation. Or heated discussions. Or full blown in your face arguing. I guess it's safe to say that it's part of life. We're not always going to get along like a house on fire with everyone we meet. And there will be many people who will cross your path that just don't quite tick all your boxes. Having said this, it's important to realise that opinionated discussions, positive confrontations, and healthy arguing are an option.
Yes....that's right! Opinionated discussions, positive confrontations, and healthy arguing can be something that you focus on the next time you feel backed in to a corner, attacked, or have had your buttons pushed one too many times.
So, let's take a look at our options, and how we can tackle them.
Firstly, we need to understand that changing your perspective towards the argument from 'me,' to 'us,' will have a profound impact. There is a massive difference between fighting against somebody, compared to fighting with somebody. Knowing as well, that our words can pack an almighty punch is also very important. They can in some circumstances, really break a person, and have a detrimental impact to how they see themselves in the world, and how they move forward in life. Like the bayonet attached to the end of a rifle on the battle field of WW1, your words that are driven by fuelling rage in the heat of an argument can kill a relationship just the same. It's important to understand that the old term, "Think before you speak" holds a great deal of truth. When we choose our words wisely, especially in the heat of the moment, you have consciously made the effort to take a different path that ultimately changes the outcome of your argument.
The tone with which you use when you speak is just as important. Clear, articulated, calmly driven approaches to speaking your mind and expressing your valid point of view can help in decreasing a heightened response in the other person. This is also linked to your volume of speech. It is often the case that the person you are arguing with will not listen to the words that you are speaking, and only hear them as 'blah blah blah.' This is because they themselves have had the stress response initiated within them, and their amygdala is firing on all cylinders. All they are focused on is protecting themselves from the onslaught of the argument.
We live our lives through a whopping 95% of our subconscious mind. Think of this as the habitual, mundane, 'I could do it with my eye's closed' way of living. Everything stored here is a download of information that we have learnt and retained from our upbringing. Exploring and watching closely the actions, words and mannerisms of those we saw in our day to day life. The small 5% of our conscious mind is used when we think creatively, daydream, or live in the moment where we find flow. Now, just think for a brief minute....what would your arguments or disagreements look like if you started to face these situations with your conscious mind, and not your subconscious mind? If you removed yourself from the downloaded, pre-programmed approaches that have been instilled in you that drive your argumentative self, and entered that space with the clear slate of the 5% conscious mind? Quite possibly, your way of arguing will begin to look, feel and sound extraordinarily different.
Now that the road to arguing and disagreeing has been unpacked and broken down, you can see how clear your options are to having healthy, positive arguments or disagreements. Amidst the clear thinking that comes from your conscious mind, remembering to breathe deeply, and stay grounded (which might I add are both much easier to do when you remove yourself from your subconscious thinking and approach), will also give you the upper hand to bringing forth a more positive, and healthy outcome to your less fortunate moments.