Monday, January 2, 2017

7 signs that you're arguing for nothing

communication skills

Words are one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. Through them we can express what we feel and think, we can convince the others and reach an agreement. Words can heal wounds, solve conflicts and lead to mutual understanding.

But the words do not have a magic power, so that sometimes are not enough. Because a word is effective on the other side there must be a receptive ear. If the other person is not willing to give up even one millimeter, words will be in vain. In these cases it is better not to scramble as anything we could say would fall on deaf ears. Sometimes, for our own emotional balance, we must learn to recognize when it is time to abandon a discussion.

Discussing it only makes sense if we can reach an agreement


The word "discuss" has taken on a negative meaning, but originally meant "shaking" so that in the ancient Rome was used to refer to the action of shaking something to separate the components. Figuratively meant "examining carefully things to separate and distinguish them”.

Therefore, the purpose of the discussion is not to win but reach an agreement and, in a sense, change the perspective in this regard. But for this to happen it is necessary that both people are willing to engage in such analysis, to build a bridge that leads to understanding. Otherwise, the discussion becomes a battle to be right and it loses its meaning, as well as make us lose patience and inner peace.

It is therefore important to learn how to detect these signs that indicate that we are discussing unnecessarily.

1. They seek constantly pretexts. The person who doesn’t assumes responsibilities and continually seeks pretexts, is not prepared to take the necessary steps to reach an agreement. When your interlocutor resorts to excuses to explain his words or behavior, basically wants to shirk its responsibility or just "get away", making sure that his interests prevail regardless of the needs of the others.

2. They masquerade as victims.
If your interlocutor takes the role of the victim, will be very difficult to make him understand that he has responsibilities in what has happened. When a person does nothing but complain about what happens, blaming the others, the fate or misfortune, it is difficult to take a proactive role and move forward in the discussion.

3. They use a condescending tone or an authoritarian one. There are very self-centered people who feel to be above the others and believe that only their arguments are valid because they think they have the absolute truth. Generally these people do not discuss to reach agreement, but to impose their opinions, so it is very difficult to talk with them and gain ground.

4. They don’t show signs of empathy. Our brains are programmed to feel empathy. Mirror neurons are activated before the pain or the joy of the others, therefore it is said that emotions are "contagious”. Empathy is essential to reach an understanding, without this all discussion is doomed to fail because each party will hide behind its position and won’t give in.

5. They attack you verbally. When a person becomes aggressive it is better to immediately stop the conversation because it's very difficult to get him/her back into himself/herself. The aggressivity is a sign that the emotional brain took control, so it will be very difficult to talk and reason with that person.

6. They use recriminations.
Sometimes discussions generate negative emotions, but if the person hopes that it is possible to reach an understanding nothing is lost. But very often, especially in longstanding relationships, one of the two people thinks the battle is lost in advance, so instead of arguing with the aim of reaching a solution, uses only recriminations.

7. They don’t respect you. Any discussion must be based in respect of the individuals. Although there are different opinions, each party must respect each other and do not use derogatory words. If not, and some barriers are broken, it is better to end the conversation, at least until the waters calm down.

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7 signs that you're arguing for nothing
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Jennifer Delgado Suárez

Psicologist by profession and passion, dedicated to string words together. Discover my Books

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