The Art of Arguing
It is unreasonable to expect a relationship without conflict. Since both of you have egos and because those egos have acquired a lifetime of conditioning, some of which is defensive conditioning built out of times of survival or struggle, there are bound to be moments when you have to sit down and seriously discuss the friction that is arising between you. Even so, when you both double down on living as the mature versions of yourselves, you can be intentional about holding your arguments within a loving container. The following are a few key practices that can help facilitate a smoother transition from argument to understanding.
Valid Perspectives: You each have your own perspective on the matter and each perspective deserves to be fully listened to without interruption. The only way the two of you can develop a full view of what happened between you is by bringing your two perspectives together. The key practice here is patiently taking turns to give each other the space to share before you have an open discussion about how to move forward.
Practice Selfless Listening: Your ego will try to get in the way when your partner is sharing their side of things, the only way to combat this is by intentionally refocusing your attention on their words instead of thinking about how you want to respond to what they are saying. This is a practice of compassion, let yourself be immersed in their view of things, see it from their angle. This can only work if you both take turns being the selfless listener.
Be Honest Without Being Dramatic: The drive to be correct can make you embellish things. Leaning into an honest demonstration of your perspective will make the conversation move more smoothly and it will bring you closer together. The deepest forms of love require a foundation of honesty.
Ask Yourself If You Can Let It Go: Attachment happens quickly when the ego feels threatened, even if the line of reasoning you are getting attached to is illogical and is functioning as a roadblock that stands in the way of your peace. Check in with yourself to see if you are hanging on to heated emotions unnecessarily. Remember the love you have for your partner and the love you have for yourself, let these lighter emotions guide you to a middle path.
Remember, Your Partner Is Not Your Enemy: Don’t let your anger make you forget who is in front of you. The person in front of you is not perfect, but they are still the one you love. Make sure to protect yourself, hold them accountable if necessary, but do not be overly belligerent.
Victory Is Not Winning, Understanding Is: When you realize that love has nothing to do with dominance and has everything to do with freedom, it becomes easier to focus on understanding each other as a way to conclude the argument instead of winning. Understanding is a generative emotion, whereas if you strive to win that means the other person has to lose, which will naturally lead to the accumulation of resentment. Seeking to understand means you both welcome vulnerability, which will help deepen your connection.
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I was able to slightly expand the size of the workshop. A small number of spots are available if you want to join on January 26th at 7:30pm EST! I will walk you through my own writing process and we will all get to write new pieces together. Some of those who wish will get to share their pieces with me and the group, and I will provide some positive feedback. When we finish the workshop I am hoping you can put your piece in an iphone note, write your name under it, screenshot it, and tag me when you share it in a story so that I can reshare a bunch of the pieces you wrote on my stories.
My new book Lighter has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for 8 weeks now thanks to you! Grateful for your support and hope Lighter is serving you well.
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