Anger is truly only one letter short of danger and when you’re an angry adult who is in a heated argument, things tend to feel like they’re on the brink of falling apart regardless of whether or not they actually will. Today, I’m sharing a little thought-piece on how I think you should argue if you’re an “adult”.
So before we get into it – hello! I’m Sophie, an everything blogger over from soph.creates. A couple of weeks ago, I got into an argument with a friend and safe to say it did not end well. I’m relatively hot-headed and when I’m arguing with someone I definitely want to come out right, and back in the day, I used to do everything in my power to not only prove myself right but to prove the other person wrong. I would do everything I could to make sure that mine was the only right opinion and that my feelings were the only valid ones.
Now hear me out, I was a kid! And let’s be real at 21 I’m not fully-fledged adult but enough time has passed for me to realize that this way of arguing was very, very wrong. Not only was I being a grade-A butthole to my friends, but I wasn’t exactly taking into consideration that there was any other viewpoint than my own. So with the benefit of this experience, here’s a step by step plan on how exactly to argue like a grown up.
Step One: Listen
If you’re in an argument with someone, you tend to block out a lot of what they’re saying because “THEY’RE WRONG!” I can hear you screaming it now but I can assure you that maybe, just maybe, there’s something in what they’re saying that holds some weight. In my experience, by this point, they’re probably angry about a billion and one things and this is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Once they’ve finished getting it all out of their system AND you’ve actually heard what they have to say, then you’ve got a pretty good base to move on to step two.
Step Two: Talk about how you’re feeling
If you’re the one who’s on the receiving end of a blow-up, this is a pretty good time to ask how the other person is feeling. This is things like frustrated, sad, hurt, etc. If you’re the one who’s having the big blow up, this is a good time to tell the person you’re angry at how this whole situation makes you feel. This is the step where you will always be right. No one can tell you or dictate how you react to a situation, only you can do that. This only becomes a problem if you can’t move past your negative feelings, which in order to get to the make-up part of a fight, you’ll definitely need to. When you’ve opened the feelings floodgate then you can move on to step three.
Step Three: Find a solution
Arguments startup because there is a problem – so now it’s time to find a solution that works for both of you. There are definitely many, many exceptions to this step but if you can get here, then you’re on the right track to getting things back to normal. As with most two-sided arguments, finding a solution is all down to compromise. If you’ve hurt someone’s feelings, then the chances are you’re going to have to apologize even if you don’t think you did anything wrong.
Oftentimes I find myself apologizing for the way I said something, rather than what I said. It makes me feel like I can retain the fact that I feel I am right (if I am), but also shows the person that I care about them. Another instance of finding a solution could honestly be just asking what you can do to make it better (if you’re in the wrong) or telling the person what to do to make it better (if you’re the one who feels like something is missing your from your relationship). Once you reach some kind of solution then it’s on to the best bit: step four.
Step Four: Making Up & Changing Accordingly
So now you’ve listened and learned more about your verbal sparring partner, you’ve heard how you’ve made them feel, and you’ve thought of a solution of how to avoid these things in the future. Now it’s time to apologize if you need to, accept the apology if you feel like you can accept it and move on, and then enact your solution, whatever it may be. Oh! And don’t forget to hug and make up, because let’s be real, nobody likes fighting.
That’s probably the most basic plan of how to argue like an adult. Generally, it’s all about listening and actually understanding where the problem lies. For all you know, it could be something from months or years ago or even something that has nothing to do with you! I’m sure as I grow up more, I’ll find that this maybe isn’t the best way to have an argument, but for now, it works, and it makes me feel like I understand the person I’m arguing with more. I also feel like it makes me more empathetic for future instances.
If you use this handy dandy little guide and it works for you, let me know by leaving a little comment or coming to find me on my blog, Instagram, or even Facebook page! Thanks for letting me into your little world and hopefully see you soon!
Until next time,