Do you argue with your partner, friend, children? Do feel like when you have conversations that the other person is not hearing you?
Perhaps it isn’t the situation or topic you are talking about that is causing the argument but rather how you are talking to each other. Perspective in the other person’s reactions to your comments need to be taken into consideration. Here you will find a set of tips and reminders that should be considered when having an in-depth conversation with someone about something that you both may not agree to. Remember that you both have your own perspectives and each should be considered and listened to whole-heartedly. This is a guide designed to support you in having an effective conversation even with the most challenging topics, while reducing the conflict that may occur during the conversation. The processes of change are not meant to be a set of unbreakable rules, but rather a helpful set of basic conversational and relationship principles
ü If one person brings up an issue that in some way relates to the actions and behaviours of others, both parties should make sure these comments are acknowledged and respected. It is understood that in order to make positive change, everyone’s reactions and behaviours will need to change
ü Everyone needs to respect the needs of each other. Some needs may create conflict but there is always room for change and respect. Everyone should be entitled to their opinions whether you feel confident in them or not.
ü All feedback from each other over a conflict needs to be non-aggressive and try to be as specific as possible. The conversation should not spread to other areas of conflict. The actual problem and only that problem should be discussed at the time of the conversation.
ü Cooperation is key! Understand that there are differences and always will be.
ü Remember that in conflict situations where something is annoying you, that this is just a small part of your experience with that person. Keep in mind this is someone you care about with an irritating issue right now, not someone you hate.
ü When discussing your criticism with the other person, remember to remind them that you care about them, but that this action, behaviour or topic is what is annoying you at that moment, not the whole person
ü When you do lose your temper or use harsh words, remember to apologize specifically about losing your temper. This does not mean you are apologizing for your opinion or thoughts about the situation, just that you should have not responded in the way you did.
ü Remember if you are having an argument with someone who is drunk, extremely tired, had a hard day at work, this person is likely going to respond negatively. If it can wait, wait to have your discussion about your frustration when the person is rested with a clear head. This will help to have a more productive discussion.
ü Remember that all issues brought up by the two people having the disagreement are issues these individuals have, not that one of these two people have. They must be worked out together, the responsibility is shared.
ü Respect one another! This is important to work through challenges. If you can’t respect each other’s opinions, you will have difficulty moving forward.
ü Remember that no one is perfect and we are all wrong from time to time. Admitting it is a great start
ü Keep in mind that if you are arguing about how something should be done; both you AND the other person might be right. There are often more solutions than just one so both parties may be correct. Now you need to work together to find the best solution for your situation!
ü Give each other time to speak without interruption. Actively listening to the other person will help both parties understand what the other is saying.
ü Speak clearly and calmly even if you feel frustrated. The other person may not understand what you are saying if you are yelling, screaming, crying or talking too quickly. “Slow and steady wins the race”
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