Use mindfulness when arguing!

We’ve all had many, many experiences where we are forced to argue.  From disagreements at home, with your spouse, with a friend, at work, almost anywhere, at any moment, someone can strike up an argument with you for myriad reasons. However, arguing isn’t usually a good thing.  Only a select few actually feel at home arguing: some attorneys, professional negotiators, and the like. Well, for the rest of us, it can really lead to harmful side effects in the form of stressors. Luckily, mindfulness can help us deal with these argumentative people and situations.

Use mindfulness to figure out what you’re arguing about

One of the principal tenets of mindfulness is to always be present in any situation. Too often in an argument or confrontational situation, high stress levels are due to both parties fearing any kind of escalation. The threat of the unknown is the thing that causes anxiety. This anxiety comes out in stress. The stress escalates the argument, and that produces more stress. This whole situation escalates and becomes out of control very quickly.

Use mindfulness to bring the tension level back down

Mindfulness reminds people that they are to focus on the situation at hand. Furthermore, “mindful listening” uses mindfulness in conjunction with communications skills to accurately decode another’s speech and nonverbal communication. Many conflicts or disagreements can be solved when both parties understand each other. Mindfulness, as well as mindful listening, can help achieve that understanding.

How to use mindfulness to understand each other

Mindfulness, with its focus on being present in a situation, enables you to truly listen to what the other party is saying, rather than thinking about how you’re going to respond, before the other party even says it! It helps you listen in a mindful way so you can understand and more importantly sympathize with the other party. The important thing is that this only works best if BOTH parties are willing to listen mindfully. So, next time you’re in an argument, think back to your mindfulness training, and truly try to understand the other party.  You’ll be surprised at how fast you can reach an agreement!