There are times in life when it feels that someone is just looking for an argument (admit it; you’ve done this yourself Ms. I Can’t Believe You Loaded the Dishwasher That Way When You Know it Causes Me Stress). Sometimes arguments are valid and have a point and other times they’re mundane. When you’re not in the mood to engage someone else in an argument – or you know you’re wrong and just want to end it before it starts – you can handle the situation without making it worse.
When your sister calls just looking for a reason to start an argument with you after her latest break up, just listen to her. The less you say, the more likely she is to become bored with your lack of engagement and end your call. When people are in a bad place at the moment, they tend to want to pick a fight with others to justify their own behavior, to take their mind off what’s really bothering them, or simply to blow off steam. Don’t give them the advantage. You’re not in the wrong for anything here, so don’t offer up any ammunition. Sometimes just listening can diffuse a difficult situation.
Use the Golden Rule
Don’t engage a screamer or a yeller with the same behavior. Remember the golden rule, “Do unto others as you wish others would do unto you,” or simply put, “Treat others as you wish to be treated.” Don’t say anything to behave in a way that you wouldn’t appreciate coming from someone else. It makes arguing with you a bit more difficult.
Remember that Winning isn’t Really Winning
When it comes to arguing with your loved ones, no one really wins. Sure, you might end an argument on a note that makes you feel like a winner, but think about the sacrifice it takes to make that happen. When you argue with someone to win, you’re both going to lose.
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