Each person is unique. Even the most closest friends – people with a lot of common beliefs – will soon find something to disagree about. If you do not know how to handle arguments correctly, the situation may escalate in a negative way and you may risk the loss of friendship, relationships, or even your job. Dealing with people with different views is as inevitable as waking up in the morning. You will deal with them in the workplace, school, online, parties, or even at home. If you do not know how to properly deal with difficult people, your life will become an everyday misery.
How do you properly deal with arguments and still remain likable?
Here are 8 ways on how to deal with people who disagree with your arguments.
1. Tell yourself you like the person.
Yes, even if you hate the person. Lie to yourself. Tell yourself you like the person before interacting. I find that if I tell myself that I like something about the person, even the tiniest details – her shoes, his hair, or the person overall – I immediately switch to a good mood when interacting with the person. Whenever an argument arises between us, I find myself more accepting of the other person’s arguments, or I am willing to ignore the other person’s argument.
In addition, when you tell yourself that you like the other person, you give off positive body language unconsciously. When I tell myself I like the other person, I am also more willing to let the other person finish what he has to say and not interrupt. Interrupting a person is a no-no, and might lessen your likeability factor.
It is said that communication is 55% body language, 38% is tone of voice, and the actual words spoken is just 7%. By conditioning yourself to think you like the person, you set yourself up to radiate positive body language and you can be more mindful of the tone of your voice.
Smile, but not in a sarcastic way. Smiling is the universal language of kindness. When you genuinely smile, you tell the other person that even though you disagree with his arguments, you are not aggressive and you meant no harm – physically or mentally.
“Smiling is the universal language of kindness.“
Smiling also subconsciously manipulates the other person to be more accepting of your arguments. If you radiate aggressiveness in the way you present your arguments, you raise the defensiveness of the other person. Even if you have cornered the other person with your logic, he will find even illogical ways to justify his point.
3. See things through the other person’s perspective.
Nothing is absolute. Everything is relative. If you think your argument is the only correct one, and no other arguments matter, you are being close-minded. See things thru the other person’s perspective and learn where he is coming from with his arguments. If you are open enough to see other’s perspective, you will usually be reciprocated by the other person seeing things in your perspective.
Sometimes, the other person may not show that he sees your argument and insist his own argument. If you show you are open-minded enough to see things through his perspective, deep inside, he will realize your point and think about it afterwards.
4. Do not take it personally.
Avoid argumentum ad hominem (attack on the character rather than the topic at hand). Attacking the character will not convince the person to agree with you. It will just raise the defensiveness of the other person and justify his arguments, even if he realizes that his argument is illogical.
Usually, attack on the character will just provoke the other person to do the same to you, if not immediately, sooner or later. You will be a future target of the person, and whenever he sees a flaw in your character or work, he will be quick to point it out just to get even with you.
5. Forget about your ego.
Why do people have to protect their ego anyway? It is not something we can bring to our grave. 7 billion people in the world, world hunger, global warming, outbreak of incurable diseases, and you think people will care about your ego? Ditch it. Nobody cares about a person’s ego except the person himself. Why cherish it so much?
Protecting ego is a norm, and if you follow the norm, you will just be a normal, ordinary person, just like anybody else. You will not stand out. You are going to be just ordinary.
The amazing thing is if you let go of your ego, you get more respect. You stand out. When you know how to humble down your ego during an argument, you will be seen as an intellectual person. At least, that is how I see a person when he knows how and when to step down of an argument he is involved in. The other person may even feel guilt after he calms down from the argument and thinks clearly.
6. Do not let the other person dictate your mood.
You are in charge of your mood. It is the other person’s choice to attack you verbally, but you are in charge of how you react. The choice is yours if want your mood to be affected by the argument. It is your choice to be happy, sad, or angry during and after the argument.
“The amazing thing is if you let go of your ego, you get more respect.”
Only insecure people let other people control their mood. If you are confident of your yourself and your stance, you will not let the other person control you or your mood.
7. Be more tolerant.
If only humankind can be more tolerant towards each other, the world would be a better place. Same is true for individuals. If you can practice tolerance against a different view than yours, you will be a happier person. You will learn to let go of an argument afterwards and not affect your mood the rest of the day.
“Will it make you proud that you have humiliated the other person?”
What was the argument about anyway? Will it drastically change your life if you have won the argument? Will it matter tomorrow? The next week? The next month? Will it make you proud that you have humiliated the other person?
8. If necessary, do not argue.
There are times that you just have to give up the argument and let go. It may not necessarily mean that you accepted defeat and the other person is right, but you just understand that the argument will just lead to nowhere but bruised egos, destroyed friendship, or wrecked relationships.
“Realize that good rapport in the long run is better than 5 minutes of victory.”
Realize that good rapport in the long run is better than 5 minutes of victory. Maintaining a healthy relationship with the person yields more benefits for both parties involved. You can use each other in a good way thru helping and cooperation in future interactions.
Remember that each person is unique and has his own set of standards, such as you have yours. Nobody has to abide by another person’s standards, but if you can be more tolerant of the other person’s, you will have no problems getting along.
Do you have anything to add? I would love to hear it. Comment it below.