The main cause of the discussions

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Joe Dispenza
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The main cause of the discussions

Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.

Last update: 15 November 2021

One that closes like a hedgehog and does not listen, the other that screams. Two people who accuse each other without making any arguments ... The root cause of arguments and quarrels is almost always the same, and even more so if it results in resentment and senseless conflicts, full of contempt and pride. We are talking about the lack of empathy.



Let's stop for a moment to think about the last time we faced a more or less heated discussion. When we start these dynamics from a difference, an attack or a criticism, we try (in general) to highlight our truth (capitalized). We want to point out to the other person our point of view and, above all, his mistake, his erroneous or possibly unfair view. This is precisely the main cause of the discussions.

Similarly, another dynamic often happens: adopting defensive behaviors. We wear armor and seek, first of all, protection and attack. This dynamic is often seen in couple relationships, in those discussions in which one or both of the members begin to hurl painful accusations and low blows… while shielding each other's victim positions.

"Your state of mind is your destiny"

-Herodotus-

Many of these arguments would be resolved much earlier if we exercised more skillfully a fundamental magic word: empathy. The simple attempt to consider the reality of others and to understand it would make conflicts much more human and more useful. However, our mistake is almost always the same: we let ourselves be carried away by emotions and these cloud the reason, extinguish the senses and establish unsavable distances. 


The root cause of arguments and arguments is almost always the same: a lack of empathy.


The main cause of the discussions: lack of empathy and understanding

If we share a desire, it is to feel understood. Said this, the moment someone questions us, criticizes us or disputes our "truths", we not only perceive a clear threat. Immediately after comes anger, anger. It is a clear imbalance of our emotional homeostasis and for that we will not take long to argue.

If we take a look at the less scientific and more popular literature on conflict, the first thing we will find is the classic article from How to Win an Argument in Six Steps. We see our disagreements and arguments as a battlefield, as if there should always be a winner and a loser. The time has therefore come to correct this approach.

The main cause of arguments and quarrels does not lie at all in living in a world full of narcissists, of people with whom one cannot reason, of profiles greedy to start disputes against us. These profiles exist, but they do not define 100% of the population. The main reason for our disagreements is our lack of understanding and the absence of real, practical and useful empathy. 

When we understand the other person and discover their reality, we are more willing to give in, more dedicated to that reciprocity with which to come to agreements that enrich us.

Most likely more than someone will think that all this will stop at good intentions, because in real life there is no shortage of discussions that break out from an unfair detonation, from a real lack or an offense to be defended with the sword. Even in these situations it is good to understand and put yourself in the other person's shoes to discover that, perhaps, it is not worthwhile to disucter. Maybe it would mean wasting time.


How to reach an agreement?

We already know that the root cause of arguments and arguments is the misuse of empathy. How can we best train her to come to an agreement? We memorize the following strategies:


  • Let's ask ourselves why we feel that way. We deepen the discomfort, the burning caused by that word or that comment (is it an unfair attack or maybe there is something true in that criticism that we do not want to accept?).
  • Once we have defined our emotional reality and the reason for that discomfort, it is time to do the same with the other person. We try to put ourselves in his shoes and to intuit, understand, discover (Is she insecure and why does she attack me? Is she upset about something I did in the past and still holds a grudge? Is what she said / did due to the fear of losing me or because she wants me to react?).
  • The third step is commitment. Instead of getting caught up in emotions, we will choose to control them and let them flow towards a solution. Our commitment will be oriented towards understanding, not towards the search for culprits, we will not resurrect old skeletons of the past or gestures or words that intensify the differences even more.

The main cause of arguments is a misuse of empathy. For this reason, making an effort to put yourself in the shoes of others is important to put an end to the incident in a productive way.



We must be able to extinguish the fury or the itch of anger, be able to show the other that opening where empathy is palpable, where we perceive an attempt to understand and reach an agreement. It must be said that this art is not easy, it takes time and requires inner work. However, effort can help us enjoy our relationships far more.

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