Let us take this time now to think about the most recent argument that we either initiated or were drawn into. How did the relationship reach this point? Why would we hold something back for so long that it explodes? In essence we have allowed external factors to control our feelings and our behavior. Additionally, it has been found that we are affected physiologically by arguing. Long-term health problems may occur as indicated by this study conducted at the Ohio State university. It can be suggested that heated arguments possess little chance for real ideological reversals by the debaters. It is likely that during emotional arguments that we really are not even listening to the other person. During these situations we spend most of our time thinking about how we plan to respond instead of listening to what is actually said.
If we focus on attaining genuine mutual respect with others, then we need not worry about losing control of our emotions when confronted with potential arguments. Instead we act as a quencher of the fire of destructive conflict. Through respect we learn to value the uniqueness of each and every individual that enters our life. We view interactions with others as opportunities to learn something new rather than occasions to spread our own doctrine. Why prove to a colleague that he or she is wrong? Is that going to make him or her like us more? Will he or she hold us in a higher regard after we have pointed out his or her fault? Will we earn his or her respect? Why not instead let our colleagues save face?
On his political success Benjamin Franklin was once quoted as saying, "If you argue, rankle, and contradict, you may achieve victory sometimes, but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponents good will." Why do we fall into the trap of selfishness? Why do we find ourselves prescribing solutions to the ills of our loved ones? Do we really think that they seek us out for advice? What if they are simply searching for comfort and empathy? They are searching for someone to share a feeling with in order to not feel alone. Our acquaintances did not intend to ask our opinion. They do not want it. Why attempt to force it upon them. This force initiates argument and denies growth. If we force our view upon others what do we plan to gain? What might we lose? Our opinion comes from our point of view. We are not they. Know that by forcing our opinion upon others we will lose credibility. We risk losing the trust of our colleagues. We risk losing friends. We even risk destroying our family.
Copyright © Robert Clinton Chedester 2012