When you have two people together, you can expect to have disagreements. How you handle these disagreements determines the quality of your relationship. Most of us handle them in a way that is very destructive. We get defensive and draw sides against the other person. Then we fight to have our side prevail.
We think that if we fight hard enough, our side will win. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Everything you do to have your side win is calculated to have the other side lose. This puts the other person on the defensive and forces that person to fight you.
Then you get defensive and fight the person even more. Then the other person gets upset and fights you more. Without knowing, you create a cycle of conflict that creates needless suffering and makes it very difficult to resolve anything. Fortunately, this can easily be avoided.
To learn how, let’s start by looking at the nature of arguments. Whenever there is an argument, there are two people who are forcefully pushing their point of view on the other. No one is listening. Nothing is getting resolved and the cycle of conflict is escalating dramatically.
The key to ending an argument and resolving a dispute is simple. Stop talking and listen. It is physically impossible to have an argument with someone who listens.
The next time you are in an argument, listen to what the other person is saying and hear it from that person’s point of view. You don’t have to like what the person is saying or even agree with it. You don’t have to do anything. Just listen.
Once you have fully let in the other person’s point of view, there will be an opening for you to express yours. Once both of you have said everything you want to say, you can have a conversation about solutions.
The next step is to look for solutions that work for everyone. This is important because when you do this, you dissolve opposition and resistance. You also find solutions. In fact, you will be surprised at how fast you find them. The solutions are always there, we just don’t see them. We don’t see them because we don’t look for them. We are too busy arguing.
Learning how to resolve disputes can make your life a lot easier.