I do my best use these rules in all discussions/arguments/debates. These rules ensure a calm and intelligent exchange, even if only on one side of it. Remember these rules and all discussions/arguments/debates go smoothly.
May the odds be in your favor.
Listen, don’t speak. Often times, especial as the authority figure in the relationship we want to take control of the situation and therefore control the conversation. Sometimes, we need to curb this feeling and let our partner or the other person involved have their say. By listening first we might learn something valuable that can be applied to preventing and solving future issues.
Find other ways to address the situation besides saying “ok”. Do your best to stay engaged in what you are discussing. Disengaging is very disrespectful to the other person involved. If the other person disengages, let them, but also make it known that the discussion is not over and will be picked up at a later time when it can be discussed maturely.
If angry, say nothing. Take a deep breath. Countdown from 5. Do whatever it takes to stay as calm and as level headed as you can.
It’s ok to call a time-out. If the situation upsets or angers you and you cannot address it calmly, say nothing and write how you feel in a letter, email or text. Do not argue the matter in text, rather explain your concerns and suggest a time to talk it out once you’re in a calmer state.
Keep you behind out of the past. Leave the past in the past, even if the other person brings it up. Do your best to stay on the issue at hand and redirect the person back to the issue should they get off topic.
Stay away damaging words. Refrain, at all costs, from using terms like, “always”, “never”, “all the time”, “every time” etc. This is demeaning to the other person. Also, do your best to avoid cussing or name calling. Keep it civil.
Recognize who you are arguing with. Not everyone is against you, in fact, the person may care a great deal about you and is just trying to help you. This especially applies to relationships, your partner loves you and they aren’t out to harm you, but to help you. Follow rule #1…listen!
If you apply these rules to you current or future relationships they will help you be able to discuss issues without them being blown out of proportion. You will be able to keep a level head and control the situation in a passive way that the other person involved will receive better, especially if they are in an emotional state.
Using rules of engagement will keep an argument from turning into a war!