Do you ever regret what you do or say when you argue?
It’s easy to get caught up in an argument and let the anger take control. Sometimes, the emotions run so strongly that you may forget what the disagreement even started over. In those situations, you can say or do things you later regret. You can go back and apologize, but the impact of anger-fueled actions and words can last beyond an apology. The way you handle anger can cost you relationships, opportunities, jobs and even your freedom. So, how do you handle an argument to avoid regret and undesirable consequences? Here’s a process that can help you get better results and reduce regret…
Stay or go?
When you sense that the exchange is becoming heated, take an emotional step back. Survey the situation and decide if it’s too emotional to be productive. If it is, let the other person know you are walking away but you can talk about it later when you both feel calmer. Make sure you let the other person know you can talk later and why you’re walking away at the time. This helps the other person know that the issue matters to you. If you simply walked away, it would seem that you could not care less, which only adds more negative feelings to the mix.
Ask yourself 2 questions…
If you decide to stay in the exchange, ask yourself one important question: how do I really want ______ to feel at the end of this argument? Resist childish urges to answer the question with things like: hurt, stupid or humiliated. Instead, focus on the deeper goal. Maybe you want the other person to feel like she can trust you or like she is open to hearing your opinions. Once you know how you want her to feel, ask yourself how you can help make her feel that way. Argue with a strategy to help make that happen.
For example, let’s imagine you want the other person to be more open to hearing your opinions. How can you help make that happen? Maybe you make a point to listen to her intently, making eye contact and not interrupting as she speaks. Modeling that behavior to her makes it more likely that she’ll do the same for you. You might also wait until she finishes speaking and say to her, “I think we can both learn from each other. I’d like us both to try to hear each other out without shooting the other person down. Are you willing to do that if I do too?”
Change your thinking. Change your life.
Feel empowered with the knowledge that when you argue, it can be positive. The key here is to not allow your actions or words to be impulse driven. That type of impulsivity without follow-through thinking is what lands many of us in negative situations. When you change your thinking, you change your life. If you’d like to talk about your current situation and how our team can assist you, give me a call today at 866-208-8997.