Discuss, Never Argue
There are some personalities that can be labeled as argumentative and that shows in their behavior and relationships. Arguments can be avoided and a lot of heartache prevented by being a little careful. The best way to win an argument is to avoid it. An argument is one thing you will never win. If you win, you lose; if you lose, you lose. If you win an argument but lose a good job, customer, friend or marriage, what kind of victory is it? Pretty empty.
Arguments result from inflated ego. Arguing is like fighting a losing battle. Even if one wins, the cost may be more than the victory is worth. Emotional battles leave a residual ill will even if you win. In an argument, both people are trying to have the last word. Argument is nothing more than a battle of egos and results in a yelling contest.
How to Argue With Your Spouse
There should be no losers. Do you really want your spouse [whom you love] to lose an argument with you? Think how constantly losing arguments with you plays on your spouse's self-esteem. Did you know spouses influence each others self-esteem more than any other factor during their married life? Arguments are usually started because one spouse feels that the other is messed up or wrong. The Bible has something to say about how to correct someone when you feel they are wrong.
The Bible teaches that love should be "slow to anger" and that love "covers a multitude of sins" and that we should not think we are better than others (including our spouse).
"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." James 1:19-20
So when a married couple loves each other they will not be quick to correct each other.
But what if your spouse is selfish and doesn't seem to ever want to change and you feel you can not overlook their selfishness any longer. How should you deal with your spouse?
Galatians 6: 1 says "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."
And, Ephesians 5: 25 says, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her."
These two verses teach us that when we feel our spouse is wrong, we should be very humble and meek with them and that we should love them to the point of being willing to give our life for them, as Jesus did for the church.
Is it worth arguing?
Ephesians 4:26 - Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil.
The more arguments you win, the fewer friends you have. Even if you are right, is it worth arguing? The answer is pretty obvious, a big "No". Does that mean one should never bring up a point? One should, but gently and tactfully by saying something neutral such as "based on my information...". If the other person is argumentative, even if you can prove him wrong, is it worth it? I don't think so. Do you make your point a second time? You wouldn't. Why? Because the argument is coming from a closed mind trying to prove who is right rather than what is right.
For example, at a social get-together of your organization, someone may say authoritatively, "The current year's export figures are $5 million." You happen to know that his information is incorrect and the right figure is $4 million. You read it in the office records and have seen it in the board note and have copies in your car. Do you make your point? Yes, by saying, "My information is that the export figure is $4.5 million." The other person reacts, "You don't know what you are talking about. I know exactly what it is and it is $5 million." At this point, you have several choices:
1. Make your point again and start an argument.
2. Run and bring the papers from your car and make sure you prove him wrong.
3. Avoid it.
4. Discuss but don't argue.
The right choice is number 3 only.
If one wants to accomplish great things in life, one has to practice maturity. Maturity means not getting entangled in unimportant things and petty arguments.
- An argument throws heat; a discussion throws light.
What are the difference between an Argument and a Discussion?
- One stems from ego and a closed mind whereas the other comes from an open mind.
- An argument is an exchange of ignorance whereas a discussion is an exchange of knowledge.
- An argument is an expression of temper whereas a discussion is an expression of logic.
- An argument tries to prove who is right whereas a discussion tries to prove what is right
E-mail the author: P.Paulraj