Arguments are part of all relationships, friendships, workplaces. We are social creatures and will often come across someone’s point of view or an area in which we disagree. Although we do our best to be respectful, sometimes it is difficult to keep things neutral.
Controlling your emotions is the best way to calm down an argument. You can be sure that your partner will do the same.
You can reaffirm respect by saying, “I appreciate that you can discuss your differences.” Perhaps you could say that you are aware of how important the topic to them and feel the same.
Tips to Deescalating Arguments
1. Breathe deeply or leave the situation
If you feel hot, take a few deep breathes and count up to 10. You will have a chance to regain your equilibrium and think clearly. Deep breathing may not be working for you. If this happens, it is a good idea to get away from each other until you can talk calmly about the events.
2. Listen to your partner
It’s not uncommon for people to hear only the buzzwords of an argument and then react with a series of reactionary responses. This is how arguments can go from being a mild argument to a full-blown brawl. Active listening is a better way to communicate. Instead of forming your thoughts and responding in your next argument, look at your partner and really listen to them. You can then calmly respond.
3. Keep an open mind
Allow the other person to present their whole view first, and then be open for a change of your mind. Perhaps one of you is wrong, and in such cases, there would not be a winner.
Every argument in a game does not have to be the same weight.
4. Decide early on the argument’s value
Do you care enough to argue about it? What is the issue? Is it technicality or law? Or did you interpret a critical decision correctly based upon the law or rule. Don’t care too much about the outcome. Let the other person win and save your energy to engage in an argument you are truly invested in.
5. Put yourself in the shoes of another person and keep your mind open.
Imagine that your boss calls you to express concern over not being updated on the status of a project.
“I can see that it seemed like I wasn’t making progress on this project because I didn’t communicate it clearly to you,” is an example of how to show your boss how you see things.
6. Learn to disagree with respect and find common ground
Many people don’t care if they “win” an argument. They want to be heard. Sometimes, acknowledging that you listen to those who argue and their opinions is enough to allow others to move on.
A valuable strategy for finding common ground to reach a compromise is how you word your argument in order to quickly resolve an argument. This strategy is used daily by diplomats. You can also use it every day by looking for common ground and building on them. You want steak for dinner. I want seafood. Let’s go to a seafood and steak place.
7. Restore safety and calm
Asking clients to take a break (in or outside of therapy rooms) is the best way to stop anger spiraling out of control. It can be helpful to assign a task such as meditation, prayer, visualisation, or meditation. This will help you restore your calm and connection. For the purpose of calm down, the couple can separate for a few moments. If time allows, clients can return to therapy and set boundaries and goals for the remainder of the session.
8. Re-establish communication with borders
You will be able to direct the remainder of the session during this time. You can offer options to guide the session. The client may be interested in resolving the issue, but they might not. They can be helped to maintain non-conflictual involvement through non-verbal or boundary-guided activities such as writing vs. talking, experiential and nondirective interventions, taking turns speaking, and writing.
9. Promote understanding and a team approach
It is possible to create a team atmosphere in the session by helping clients to express their feelings and communicate understanding with one another.
10. Listen with all your heart
In this age of instant communication and constant communication, it is more common to listen than to reply. Before the other person can finish their sentence, we are forming our thoughts and building our rebuttals. We are receptive to buzzwords and react in our responses.
Active listening is a better option. Reduce distractions as much as possible. Pay attention to the person speaking. Don’t assume their motives.
You can find your strength and follow the high road. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to give up or compromise your values. You can redirect an argument by learning how to let go of your ego and achieve a better outcome. Even though you might disagree with them, everyone is entitled to their opinion. While it may be difficult to listen to what they have to say, remember to treat them as fellow human beings.