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Have you ever tried to win an argument?

If you have been in an intimate relationship, have kids, or co-workers, most likely you have been on both sides of feeling like you won an argument or you lost an argument. Neither situation is an actual win for anyone, even though at the moment it might feel like you won. However, if someone you care about has to “lose” it’s not a win.

Let’s take a look at the need we have to win an argument. 

Most people who are secure in their self-worth, satisfied in life, and don’t have the need for control aren’t interested in proving themselves right or having to win an argument.  They can listen, really listen, answer, offer their perspective, and let it go.  Meaning, they do not need the other person to agree with them to have a sense of calm and peace. 
Often times when we are trying to “win” an argument it’s because of a way of being in our subconscious that we aren’t aware of.  Some of the reasons are listed below.

✔️ Have Control
✔️ To Feel Superior
✔️ Have Things My Way
✔️ To Get Approval

and the list can be endless…

By trying to win arguments you are effectively creating a situation where the other person stops sharing how they feel and what they want.  Why offer honest feedback if it’s just going to be argued with?  In intimate relationships, this can lead to a breakdown in the relationship because honest communication no longer happens.

How do you step out of a win/lose to a win/win?

The key is to ask yourself what is your goal in the conversation?  At work, it could be a disagreement about how to implement a system.  Is your goal to have something done your way or is your goal to create a successful, cohesive team?  In a personal relationship, is your goal to create more trust, and a deeper connection or is it to prove the other person needs to admit wrongdoing?

After you are clear on your goal ask yourself if winning an argument allows you to reach your goal and then use verbiage that will facilitate it.  Start by finding common ground, things you can agree with.  Or even by saying I can see how you might think or say that.  Remember, a person can never be wrong about how they feel or what they believe.  If they believe they have an issue they do, if they feel angry, disappointed, sad they are.  Telling them they shouldn’t feel a certain way or believe a certain way only creates the need for them to hold tighter.

Lastly, be clear you understand their goal in the conversation.  Maybe, they just want to feel heard or needed a compromise on how to approach something.  Be willing to be wrong and be willing to act in love.

If just the feeling of being wrong creates anxiety or tightness in your body, spend some time with yourself in meditation or journaling to see why being wrong creates such a strong reaction in you.  Many times it can be traced back to childhood and feelings of insecurity, unworthiness, feeling a lack of control, or support.