'If you win an argument, you lose a friend'.
Let’s see what actually happens during an argument:
- Direct attack on a person’s ego and self-esteem.
- How do we counter an argument and defend ourselves?
- What do we get out of the argument?
- Arguing with our children.
Direct attack on a person’s ego and self-esteem
When we argue with someone, we tell him point blank:
- You are wrong.
- Your judgment is wrong.
- Your opinion is wrong.
- You have no wisdom.
- You are fool.
How do you feel when someone tells you this?
Do you enjoy it? No one does.
Every argument involves sharp criticism. Criticism triggers hatred. It directly hits our emotions, self-esteem and ego. Self esteem and ego are our most precious possessions. We don’t enjoy best of the best things if we are able to get them at the cost of our self-esteem and ego.
The critical words and sentences uttered in an argument against us directly attack our self-esteem, ego and feelings, and do something what atom bombs did to Hiroshima-Nagasaki in World War-II.
We employ everything at our command to protect our shattering ego.
How do we do it?
How do we counter an argument and defend ourselves?
We make a China wall around ourselves.
This wall serves many purposes. It closes our mind to the merits of the attacking argument. The mind gets into offensive mode.
The other person’s arguments fall on our ears but our mind rejects them out rightly.
Then our mind sets up best available guns and canons on the top of this china wall, and loads them with all the available logics, facts and figures, howsoever baseless, vague, misconceived or prejudiced they might be.
Yes, the firing starts.
Whom do we fire at? Of course, the one who attacked us, and everyone who comes in the way. We start contradicting every argument against us with our full potential with all kind of justifications … mostly prejudiced.
We blame the one who argues with us and everyone whom we can shift the blame on. To prove ourselves right, we spare no one whom we can blame.
Our body language also comes to assist our oral arguments, and send hostile messages from its gestures like bitter looks, folds on the forehead, tight jaws … and more.
Every argument from one side arouses a new argument from other side. There is no closing argument.
A causal argument gets lost into heated arguments in no time.
Opening arguments is very easy, even a fool can do it.
Closing arguments is an uphill task.
What do we get out of the argument?
Nobody likes being blamed. We are all alike … including kids.
And remember, the same thing is happening with the person with whom you are arguing.
So where are you two guys reaching? … nearer to each other or farther than before?
Every argument increases the distance between two persons.
Even if you prove him wrong in front of the whole world, he’ll still be firm and adamant on his opinion, probably more than ever before. He’ll never come close to your heart and would keep looking for opportunity to let you down sooner or later.
And even if you think you have won the argument, you actually lose, because you have lost all prospects to have a good relation with that person ever in future.
Argument poisons love.
Arguing with our children
Children can learn from you and improve their behavior only when they like you and have a good opinion of you.
So we need to ensure that at any cost.
When we argue with adults, we are still somewhat sensible, but when we argue with our own kids, we are at our worst. We complain, condemn, ridicule, scold, shout, humiliate and insult them. This makes the argument much more ugly and filthy.
We not only hurt his ego, self esteem and emotions, but also spoil our image in his estimation.
And does this correct the child’s behavior which triggered the argument?
The child will be more adamant than ever before.
And what do you achieve out of all this? Arousing hatred in the heart of the child against you.
… we end up spoiling our own game. Things get messed up more than before.
So why to prove a child he is wrong. That’s not going to make him like you? So, Why argue with him?
And remember, kids also don’t enjoy making mistakes and justifying them.
Nobody wants to make a mistake. They just happen … more so with kids.
It is only experience which teaches us how to avoid mistakes. Kids have life experience of only a few years. They are more likely to make mistakes.
They are just what we were in their age under similar circumstances. We’ve made similar or worse mistakes at their age. These days kids are smarter. I’m sure I made more mistakes when I was my son’s age, than my son does today.
How to argue with your kids and win the argument.