When was the last time yo got into an argument with someone and it felt like you were going around in circles? You were saying exactly what they did wrong and they. just. don’t. listen.! Frustration builds, tempers flair, and yet another argument. This isn’t what anyone really wants, but how can you change this?
Frequent arguments are the result of a breakdown of communication. One or both people stop listening in favor of convincing the other person they are right. Arguments focus on surface distractions, and not on what is deeply bothering each person. But how can this change?
Effective communication begins with the speaker. There are many views on how we communicate, but none of them matter if we don’t know what we want to communicate. This leads to the first point:
Effective communication begins with identifying what needs to be said.
I want to be clear with this: I do not mean discussing things you want the other person to do (or stop doing). What I mean is identifying the offended values and “big picture” concerns you have. Until these are addressed, frequent arguments about “things” will continue because the underlying emotions and value-based violations aren’t addressed. The “why” behind the argument needs to be identified and discussed honestly, openly, and directly. This is much easier said than done, though. Unfortunately, there isn’t a high school class called “How to disagree with someone and find resolution 101” or “How to effectively communicate on a personal level, 101”. Sometimes outside help to stop the repeating patterns of communication – or to identify the underlying “why” is needed, and that is ok.
Look for Part 2 in the upcoming weeks.
If you would like more information or to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact me.
MA, ICAADC, CCPG, DOT-SAP, LPC
TBHI Certified Telebehavioral Health Practitioner