Monday, September 20, 2010
(Husband) 10 unhealthy ways to win an argument
It may seem obvious but listening is an important skill to have in a relationship. Pat LaDouceur, Ph.D. writes about the physiological response when an argument becomes frustrating.
It is incredibly difficult to listen when, “Your frontal cortex -- the part of your brain that reasons, plans, and solves problems -- shuts down.” If you would like to save your marriage then follow the steps in the article. If you would like to always win an argument, at the cost of your relationship, then follow mine.
First, if your partner criticizes you then come back with a criticism that is much worse and with twice the anger. Bottom line, a good defense is a good offense.
Second, write down a list of hurtful things your partner has said. When you get in an argument you can always find your journal and repeat back prior offenses. There is no statute of limitations on prior offenses.
Third, try to use the words always and never in every comment back to them.
Fourth, always be thinking of the next thing to say, even when you are supposed to be listening. Don’t get lulled to sleep by internalizing the constructive comments your partner is making. You will get caught in the trap of finding some truth in what they are saying and will be faced with the temptation to change.
Fifth, don’t be afraid to fight unfairly by twisting their comments around to make yourself the victim. The best outcome is they will always need to say they are sorry even when they don’t have anything to be sorry about.
Sixth, make petty arguments even bigger. Make your partner pay dearly for even thinking about bringing up a criticism. Make them gun shy for the next time they speak. Your honesty is meaningful while their honesty is ridiculous.
Seventh, act like you are the bigger person while still getting your point across. Start with saying something but then stop with, “I’m not going to even say it.” They will want to know what you said so you tell them. If they are hurt, which they will be, tell them they are at fault for wanting to know.
Eighth if it looks as though you might be loosing the argument than retreat into your shell and refuse to talk any further saying something like, “I don’t want to fight anymore. I love you too much to hurt and be hurt.” Again, you are the bigger person.
Ninth, if you have no interest in starting, or furthering discussion, use the, “No, you are” approach. It’s easy, fast, and simple. For example:
Daisy: Could you start putting your dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink?
Goose: Maybe you should start putting your dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink.
Daisy: I already do.
Goose: I already do too.
Daisy: No you don’t.
Goose: I’m pretty sure you don’t.
Do you get the idea?
Finally, use divorce threats even if you have no intention on following through.
Best of Luck!!