Do you ever wonder why, sometimes our attempt to make someone understand our point turn into an unexpected series of stupid arguments?
The guilt that dawns upon us after we have been in a heated argument with someone makes us realize that we could have proven our point without having to yell. We’ve all been there.
Sometimes, our emotions flow over the brim and by the time we even acknowledge the spill, we have slipped on it and landed on the ground with a great thud. In the whole process of trying to be “the one who is right”, we not only make ourselves feel bad for it but also end up hurting the other person.
However, even after being in the same situation for far too many times, why do we still do it? Despite being aware of the repercussions of it, we still argue!
WHY DO WE ARGUE ?
There can be a multitude of reasons for why we argue. Let’s look into some of the possible reasons discussed below.
The need to be an advocate for your opinions
Everyone in the world views life with a different lens and hence, everyone has different opinions on things around them. When we find someone agreeing with our views, we feel understood and unperturbed, but the moment someone disagrees with us, we feel this uncontrollable urge to defend our views because we feel attacked. The beliefs and ideologies that you hold in high regards, all of a sudden, are being questioned, and more so being rebuffed. And so, you feel accountable to advocate for the credibility of those beliefs and opinions.
Our ego never wants to be proven wrong or to be defeated in any way. It makes us believe that our opinion is the only important one out there. It keeps us from even considering the possibility of someone else’s opinion being correct because then, for our ego, it would mean that we are the one in the wrong, which is absolutely unacceptable to our sense of self.
Sense of Control
The right things are valued while the wrong ones are rejected. To not feel rejected, to feel valued, we continuously tend to throw argumentative remarks at our opponent until we become “the one who is right”, in order to have the upper hand.
Argument gives us a thrill
Since you feel attacked during an argument, your brain, unable to distinguish between an actual danger and an assumed danger, releases hormones in your body like adrenaline, which puts you into fight or flight mode and dopamine, which provides you with a sense of pleasure. With the release of dopamine, you feel rewarded and motivated to continue arguing for the temporary pleasure you feel in those moments.
Safety at Risk
This reason might only be true in case of, but not limited to, the person we are close with.
When we feel understood, we also feel connected to other people on a mental and an emotional level. This sense of connectedness with other people fosters safety.
However, on experiencing a conflict in views, there seems to be a barrier between us and the person we’re in argument with, which makes us feel disconnected, and our safety is put at risk. We panic, as we would normally do, on encountering an actual risky situation, and spiral into aggressive, argumentative exchange of words.
Sometimes, our words are not a reflection of our what we think, but how we feel. When our emotions remain unchecked for too long, they can cause distress and displeasure and may erupt abruptly and aggressively amidst a conversation, resulting in conflicts and arguments.
How to get out of an argument
After looking into the possible reasons as to why we argue, we must find ways to tackle situations where we find ourselves arguing with others senselessly. Here are few ways through which you can avoid or cease the advancement of any argument into becoming something more terrible.
The simplest thing to do when you find yourself getting all defensive is to walk away from the place and get out of the sight of the other person. This will give you enough time to reflect upon your thoughts and get your emotions in control.
Take a deep breath
Pause, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Deep breathing help calm your nerves, it will give you enough time to have one rational thought like, “this is pointless” or “this is not helping” and pull back from your defensive state of mind to a more normal, logical state of mind.
Bring in the humor
The right kind of humor can not only help dissipate the stress caused by the argument but also refreshes the mood. Just be sure that the humor is aimed at the situation or maybe even yourself, but not the other person. Refrain from using any kind of humorous remark that can make the person at the other end, even more mad or upset.
Face a wall
It sounds weird and rude and possibly applicable only in situations where the other person is a sibling or a close friend, but facing a wall in the midst of an argument will make you realize that people are like walls during arguments- ,mindless, hurtful when you accidentally walk into them and wouldn’t change, no matter what you say to them. As you stand there facing a wall, hopefully, you’ll be dissuaded to have any further bickering with the other person.
Politely asking the other person to stop
Facing a wall is not a choice when you find yourself in an argument who would be deeply offended by that act. In those circumstances, it’s best that you politely ask the other person- “can we not do this right now, please?” or “I think we should talk about it later.” This can show that you acknowledge their opinions and you are willing to hear them but just not at the moment.
Saying sorry doesn’t take back the things that you said and it doesn’t imply that you are now willing to change your opinion on the subject, but it does indicate that you’re not willing to ruin a relationship over the subject in matter and that your intention was not to hurt them.
If an argument has gone a little too far, use phrases like-
- I am sorry but I am not my best self right now,
- I’m sorry I made you feel that way,
- I apologize for my behavior,
- I’m sorry I raised my voice at you,
Phrases like these can help diffuse the tension and can also prevent the argument from ending on a bitter note.
Talk about it!
Avoiding the conversation may feel convenient but issues that remain unresolved for a long time, pave the way for disappointments in the relationship, resulting in the development of insecurities and feelings of resentment.
Once the emotions are cooled down, it’s important to talk the issue out to understand each other’s point of view with an open mind. Working out a problem together strengthens the bond between people and reinforces trust in the relationship.
And don’t you worry if you can not find the common ground in your opinions! It’s not necessary that both the parties must eventually come to the accept the same viewpoint. People can have differences in ideas and opinions without being indifferent towards each other.
Disagreement is also a kind of agreement, if done respectfully.