How to Have an Argument
By writing this article I am by no means implying that engaging in arguments is a good practice. On the contrary I think it is quite a waste of time and energy. I used to be a very argumentative person. Also I used to care a lot about what other people thought or say about me. I used to become defensive the minute someone said something critical or negative about me. I used to waste hours over what someone said or why he/she said it. I would justify this sort of thinking and attribute it to sensitiveness which in my opinion was a good quality.
Now when I look at myself as I was only a couple of years ago, all I can do is to smile at my foolishness. I don’t believe in regrets, who I was or what I went through was necessary to help me become who I AM now. All our experiences take us towards wholeness and perfection if we learn from them. When we
and courageously we attract all that is good to our life.
Most of us have this need to be always right. Think about it for a minute, does it really matter if someone agrees with you or not? Does it matter to the “real you”, the “I AM” within you? Do you really care if someone has the same ideas as you do? Remember truth doesn’t need defending. Truth is truth regardless of people’s opinions. Don’t defend the truth but live it. The great philosopher James Allen said, “Having nothing to attack, nothing to defend, nothing to conceal and no interests to guard, you are at peace”. Or as Ekhart Tolle puts it, “What you fight strengthen, and what you resist persist”. When you are amidst an argument, ask yourself do you want to be right or would you rather be kind?
Don’t get defensive if someone criticizes you. Remind yourself that it is not your business what others think about you. It is their problem not yours. If you feel angry or hurt by someone’s remarks then know that it is the ego in you that is creating these feelings. Your higher self is never affected by any external circumstances. You are the manifestation of the omnipresent, the one universal energy. This awareness will calm you down. Think of your inner being and don’t loose yourself in the illusion. Also don’t be afraid of criticism. Charles Haanel' in the
Master Key System
says, “It is fear of this criticism that causes many ideas to fail to see the light of day”. Break the chains of traditions, conventionality and opinions of others until you learn to stand on your own two feet. Depend on your own opinion and judgment. Be true to your own conscience and let the light within you shine. Shut out all thoughts of negativity, anger and hatred.
Even if you know for sure that you are right, don’t feel superior to another. Inferiority and superiority are the tools of the ego. We are all connected because we all are from the same source, in that sense we are connected to each other. If someone is being mean to you then it is not him but the ego in him that is making him behave this way. You cannot get rid of someone’s ego by attacking it. Try looking beyond it and not at it. Realize that the true self of that person is obscured by his ego and the only way to get rid of the ego is through “kindness” and “compassion”.
Sometimes we get sucked in an argument without meaning to do so. The most important thing to do in such a case is to remain patient, calm and well poised. You will handle an argument with much wisdom if you are in harmonious state of mind. If somebody is trying to provoke you, reply with a "Maybe", "Do you think so?" or "Is that so". You should neither agree nor disagree with him or her. Be non critical and non judgmental in your response and more importantly in your thoughts.
If you know beforehand that you will go in a situation that could be difficult, take a careful look at your own mental and physical state. What are you feeling at that moment? Stressed, tired or hungry? Are you happy or sad? Are you feeling calm or nervous? Do you think that you will get in to an argument and act emotionally? When you take inventory of your thoughts and feelings before interacting, you will have an idea about what you will bring to the table. You will know in advance, what your contribution will be in the discussion or how you will react to it if it became a heated argument.
Understand that you could come up against strong emotions and that it is alright to deal with them. Accept the situation for what it is but have faith in your ability to handle it. Know that you do not have to process someone else’s emotions, just be there in the moment for them. Listen to them without any judgment on your part. “Observe” not “absorb” this is compassion. De attach yourself mentally from the situation and look at it from a third person’s perspective and you will loose your irritability over the matter.
However no matter how prepared you are, there will be situations that will tempt you to react emotionally. Your goal should be to remain in control no matter what the situation is. Don’t forget that every thing passes. Study yourself to find your triggers; what predisposes you to loose balance? If you have self knowledge, you will know what really bugs you, what irritates you and make you
loose your temper
. When you have this knowledge beforehand then during an argument you can choose a different response or better yet you can simply remain dispassionate.
When the situation is over, it is important that you take inventory of your thoughts and feelings. You must do this to find out what is yours and what isn’t. You may have had emotional reaction to the situation and could have picked up emotions and feelings of the other person involved. Assess your mental state to see what your emotional luggage is and what is not. Take in to account where you started and where you ended. In this way you will be aware of your own reaction and the emotions of the other person. Don’t pick up any thoughts, ideas or feelings that were not yours to start with.
Most important thing when an argument is over is moving on. Don’t repeat it in your head. Don’t plan what you will say or how you will react if the situation arises again. Control your thoughts don’t let them control you. If you feel angry or stressed, quiet your mind and
, preferably on compassion.
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