Last update: Augusts 24, 2020
We are surrounded by many different people, we have to live with people we find it hard to understand or bear. On these occasions it is "easy" for conflicts to arise. Of course it's best never to argue, but sometimes we can't help it. It will be of great help, therefore, to learn to avoid the most frequent mistakes when it comes to us argue with someone.
We generally have a tendency to make all the same mistakes in an argument. These make the conversation unpleasant and more difficult to come to an agreement. So, in today's article, we'll look at some of the most common mistakes when you find yourself arguing with someone and some strategies for avoiding them.
Arguing with someone and frequent mistakes
Each discussion is different, but we all make the same mistakes. Among the most common we find:
- Identify yourself with your ideas.
- Adopt a confrontation mentality.
- Oversimplify the problem.
Let's analyze them.
1- Identify yourself with your ideas
Many times discussions are not about situations, circumstances or facts in which we are directly involved. So often we tend to get angry about controversial issues on which we could exchange our point of view with confidence. Some of the most frequent are religion, politics or social issues such as feminism or homosexuality.
If we think about it with a cool head, there is no point in clashing with each other just because there are different opinions. Nonetheless, this is what happens in most cases. The temptation to convince the other person that their point of view is wrong instead of making us pursue our goal makes us angry.
Why does this happen? According to some psychological currents, due to an ego not understood, we tend to identify with our beliefs. This means that if someone attacks an idea that is very important to us, it is as if they attacked us personally. This is one of the most frequent mistakes in a discussion that causes unnecessary misunderstanding and tension.
To avoid this, remember that while disagreement is respectable, disrespect is not. In this sense, we can use assertiveness to show the other person that having different opinions isn't necessarily wrong.
"I disagree with what you say, but I would give my life so that you can say it."
-Evelyn Beatrice Hall-
2- Adopt a confrontation mentality
Another common mistake when we find ourselves arguing with someone is to consider verbal disagreements as a battle. When we get into this mindset, we see situations as if we were to come out victorious. As if our ideas were to be "stronger" than those of our rivals. In this way we force them to surrender in the face of our superiority.
This way of thinking can cause you several problems. On the one hand, our relationship with the person deteriorates; on the other hand, in most cases, there are only two opinions. Even when we are really right, it becomes difficult to convince the other person of this.
It turns out much more productive try to understand why the other person's opinion. Even when other people's ideas seem offensive to us, we can learn a lot if we just listen to what they have to say. This clearly does not mean that we should not defend our ideas, but that it does not make sense to try to convince others at the cost of our well-being and our peace of mind.
3- Oversimplify the problem
Arguing with someone often means seeing the world in black and white. Everyone believes that their ideas are right and valid, while he considers all other opinions wrong.
However, the other person also believes that their ideas are the right ones. How can this be possible? Is he completely unable to see the truth or is there something else? It often happens that the topics we discuss are quite complex. Therefore, almost all opinions have a part of the truth, a solid pillar on which they are based.
In most cases it will be enough just to remember that we do not possess the absolute truth and the intensity of the discussions will decrease. Obviously it is right to have faith in one's own opinions, with humility remembering that we are not infallible and that we are often wrong.
These three mistakes in an argument arise from the need to overpower the other person. There are many ways to turn an exchange of views into a battle. All these, however, they find a solution in the respect of others. Having a healthy discussion with someone is very important. The best way to do this is to remember that the other person is not our enemy.