Arguing Styles


Arguing is something we learn as a child, those battles with siblings or parents and our style of arguing once learnt can stay with us for life.

So, why do some of us always lose arguments, its not because we are stupid or that we cannot think of the right thing to say, what we do is allow us to be distracted from the issue, we might not have wanted confrontation knowing through experience that the other person might just explode.

So, let’s have an example of how an explosion happens and it is called escalation;

Q: Would you mind putting those things away?

A: Can’t you see I’m busy?

Q: I can see that you are busy but I need those things to be put away.

A: So, that’s it, its always what you want isn’t it, I’m just getting in the way, you don’t really want me here at all.

Q: No Darling, I love you being here, please don’t say that, I’m sorry…

That is the point at which the argument was derailed, the use of the word ‘always’ is the game changer and Q: now responds to the accusation that A is not wanted, the original question is lost, the explosion is about to kick off….

If at the point when the first ‘always’ is used Q had just repeated the original request ‘actually I just need you to tidy up’ Q would not have had to defend A’s claim that they are not wanted.

Another word used by the escalator is never, ‘you never really accepted me’ etc, these emphatic words are used by the escalator to raise the game to the point where you are defending your self and your feelings, you are under attack.

The escalator will put these emphatic words into a statement; You always, You never, You must have, it’s a blame game with only one winner, it is a demand for you to pacify, it is a demand from ‘child’ to ‘parent’, and the ‘child’ wins.

So the answer is to stay adult, don’t pacify, listen to those statements they well be wrong, question them and stick to your original point, ‘I didn’t say that I don’t want you here, I said that I really do need you to put those things away’.

Copyright © Ros Welch 2020. All rights reserved