Disagreements are inevitable. You’re not always going to see eye-to-eye with everyone who walks the face of the earth.
But just because you share a different opinion doesn’t mean you have to let your emotions get the best of you.
It’s simply not worth having these disputes ruin your day or relationships for that matter.
If you’re someone who’s eager to “win” an argument and jump at the opportunity to put another person in his or her place, then you may find what I’m about to tell you helpful.
Just so we’re clear, I’m not encouraging you to keep your mouth shut and let everyone else walk all over you.
My purpose in writing this is to simply let you know that there are more productive and rewarding ways to handle whatever disputes you may find yourself in.
You can still get your point across in a civil way. It doesn’t always have to involve a heated debate with both sides talking over one another. This just prolongs the argument and decreases the likelihood of reaching some sort of agreement or middle ground.
The best advice I can give to someone who’s looking to improve their communication skills and better themselves as an individual is to listen.
Too many people are quick to state their personal beliefs, but aren’t willing to pretend to even show the slightest bit of interest in the other person’s point of view.
It’s not easy, especially when your emotions are factored into the equation, but learning how to properly translate your ideas and give someone else the floor when their talking is crucial for self-improvement.
Just tuning in to what someone else has to say is a BIG step in the right direction.
Carl Rogers, one of the twentieth century’s great psychotherapists, recommended that each person should speak up for themselves only after he or she has first reiterated the ideas and feelings of the previous speaker accurately, and to that speaker’s satisfaction.
The key here is to listen and then repeat what the other person has said, rather than focusing on what you’re going to follow up with after.
Not only does this give both sides a chance to fully-form their arguments, but it promotes intellectual conversation that otherwise would get drowned out from raised voices and short bursts of fragmented ideas.
The next time you find yourself in a dispute, stop the discussion for a moment, and try to keep your emotions at bay.
Chances are you’ll feel an urge to cut the other person off to shut down their opinion, but if you practice listening and waiting your turn to respond, you’ll find that it’s far more beneficial for the conversation itself and you as an individual.
Who knows… you may even be able to learn something new in the process!