5 Steps To Win Any Argument

4 Steps to Resolving Any Argument

In the middle of a knock-down, drag-out fight? Kiss and make up sooner with this guide to fighting right.

By Beth Gilbert

Medically Reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

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Think your relationship is feud-resistant? Whether it’s between partners, pals, family members, or co-workers, even the friendliest of twosomes are bound to disagree. But once you’ve gotten yourself into a fight, it’s important to fight right.

The key? Never leave an argument unresolved — unsettled spats can take a big toll on both your physical and emotional well-being. "Arguing increases stress hormones like cortisol,” says Laurie Puhn, JD, author of the bestsellerFight Less, Love More. “Research has shown that increases in levels of stress hormones increase the risk of stomach issues, headaches, and cardiac problems."

Making up meansnotkeeping your mouth shut until you blow up. "Staying quiet during an argument or blowing up during a fight increases stress hormones that negatively impact an individual's physical and mental well-being," says Puhn.

In fact, as part of the Framingham Offspring Study, researchers followed 3,682 men and women (with an average age of 48 years) for 10 years to determine the effect of marriage and martial strain on the risk of heart disease and death. The investigators found that women who stayed quiet during an argument were four times more likely to die than those who expressed themselves freely.

So how can you make sure your squabble is a healthy one?

The Right (and Wrong) Way to Argue

According to Puhn, "Fights are normal and healthy if they are done correctly, and if both individuals can reach a solution together.” The goal of your fight? Lay out your differences, recognize where the other person is coming from, and reach a solution or joint agreement.

Avoid fixating on winning an argument, but rather on preventing the incident from happening again. "The fight should not focus on yesterday, with comments like 'You shouldn't have said that' or ‘You've got it all wrong’ — that would be fighting about the past, which can’t be changed," says Puhn.

Solve the Spat in Four Simple Steps

Puhn recommends the following steps to ensure your dispute is both purposeful and productive:

  1. Break free of your fighting routine by sitting down.
  2. Ask neutral questions to get both sides of the story.
  3. Summarize what was heard.
  4. Work toward a solution.

4 Feuding Scenarios

Here’s how to go about resolving an argument with:

Your partner.It’s time to break your typical arguing pattern and focus on the issue at hand. “Let’s say that your spouse secretly spent money that you were not aware of. The first thing to do, instead of screaming, is to sit him down and talk about what happened,” says Puhn.

Next, put your detective cap on: Find outwhyyour spouse decided to act in this way. “Were they afraid of your reaction? Was it just an oversight? It is necessary to find out if you are misunderstanding something, to listen to the answers, and then summarize back what your spouse said, such as ‘You spent money on a new computer because the computer broke and the kids had a project due for school,’” says Puhn. “Then it is important to brainstorm solutions, so this doesn’t happen again.”

Your kid.In an argument with a child, Puhn recommends that you, the parent, remain the authority figure, even as you use the four steps. “Let’s say that your child comes home late after curfew and you are not happy. Before you start yelling, you should find out what happened,” Puhn suggests. Again, play a detective and ask questions: Why was your child late — it might have simply been because her friend didn’t want to leave the party or another issue out of her control.

It is also okay to involve your child in the solution. “Ask your child, ‘What do you think would have worked better?’ Maybe you agree that the child will call you if they think they will be late. However, in the end, the parents are the decision makers,” says Puhn.

Your colleague.In an argument with a boss or co-worker, understanding the problem is key. “Let’s say that you gave a presentation and you weren’t as prepared as you should have been. You should listen to what your boss has to say and then ask questions to understand what really was wrong,” she explains. “Then you both can work together to find a fix for the future. Maybe you recommend that the day before a presentation that you sit down with your boss to make sure you are adequately prepared.”

Your neighbor.In this scenario, focus on being a detective. “You really don’t know the reason why your neighbor is upset that the tree is overgrown on their lawn. It may be that he is sick of racking up the leaves or that the tree is preventing sunlight from getting to his flowers,” says Puhn. “Whatever the issue, you need to ask questions to find out the reason for your neighbor’s compliant. Once you understand the issue, you should repeat it back and then come to a solution together.”

No matter who you’re arguing with, these four steps make up the foundation of a healthy argument.

Video: 4 Steps to Resolve Arguments in Relationships! A.V.E.R!

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Date: 01.12.2018, 21:32 / Views: 73364