How to Stop an Argument

by Contributor

Anyone can start an argument, but it takes a strong person to stop the argument. Many people want to be the stronger person, but they often lack the know-how. If for you, the question of how to stop an argument is looming over your head and hindering your ability to resolve conflict, follow these steps and begin the process of renewing your relationship.

Take a time-out from the person and the argument. Go and get a cup of coffee, go to the bathroom or take a drive. Do whatever you can to get yourself out of the place where the argument is taking place. Remember not to leave the argument unresolved and walk away; just leave for long enough to cool off and get back together later.

Plan to reconvene and finish the argument at a time when you can both be uninterrupted for 30 minutes. An uninterrupted 30 minutes is long enough for you to both share your feelings and discuss why you feel that way.

Think and plan during your time-out so that you're prepared for your meeting when it does take place. Keep yourself from dredging up the other person's past mistakes or from making personally pointed attacks. Do this by keeping your focus on the issue at hand and always coming back to that issue.

Keep the problem between the two of you. Regardless of how badly your feelings are hurt or how much you want to discuss this problem with your other friends, refrain for the sake of your friendship. Stopping an argument is hard enough without other people getting involved.

Be open and honest with one another, be willing to show your vulnerability and be open to the fact that you may be wrong. No one is right all the time, and your argument is more resolvable if you keep from feeling like you have to defend your every move.

Say "I'm sorry" even if you think you're justified in what you said or did. Just hearing those words has a healing effect on every relationship, and most of the time we wound each other without being aware of it.

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