What are you fighting for? 

I am a known fighter. I'll fight about anything. I'm not even sure if you're allowed to call arguing, fighting anymore, but some of the arguments I've been in feel like a fight even though I never, nor anyone I know, would throw a punch. 

Fighting and arguing is exhausting and almost never productive, but humans can't seem to avoid them. We hear something that triggers our defense mechanisms and often, before we even realize it, we're upset and in the middle of an argument. 

I've learned a few paths to getting out of or even avoiding arguments, but Id been lying if I said I used them all of the time. I know how to control my emotions and to present my ideas in a palatable tone. But I still get lured into saying stuff like, "Oh fuck me? Well Fuck you!" with friends and family.

But I can honestly say I do that a lot less now.  It's just that now, when I lose my shit, it's usually recorded on the podcast.

Damn that show. 

But here's a few things I've learned about arguing. 

1. Often times when you argue it's not the actual issue that you're arguing about but lot's of issues that have built up over time.  

For example I have been in an argument with my wife about our finances, but once I reflected back later on the fight I realized it wasn't about money, but that I had felt disrespected several times in our marriage.  I was actually fighting about respect, instead of our budget.

Figure out your wounds, what caused them, and address them.  I didn't allow my wife to know I was hurt and so she was blindsided by me being upset, when she thought she was trying to help us financially. 

2. As soon as you feel or hear yourself using a louder tone and giving more emotional responses: WALK AWAY!!!  I'm sure you've heard this before but even giving yourself a 5 minute break will help you see how you're reacting to the argument and help you clarify what you want to say without the emotions. 

3. Sometimes in arguments you are totally right. But the way you go about explaining your side ends up pushing people away.  

I know you won't believe, it but I've been right a good amount of times in arguments. But I relied on emotion, volume, and cut downs to "win" instead of helping the person see my points in a more calm and relaxed way.  

If you believe or know you are right, stay calm and even use humor to lighten the moment. Be humble and listen. Most people don't actually want to be in an argument with you and are probably more willing to listen as long as they can be heard and respected as well. 

I wrote this post for myself. I want to remember these three points and use them more regularly. If you have any techniques that you use to avoid or get out of arguments send them my way!