The Art of Keeping Your Cool in an Argument: 5 Important Points
To keep an argument from bringing out the worst in you, you have to know yourself well and learn to control your emotions.
All of us can remember a time where you were in an argument and lost our cool. Our emotions got the better of us and we weren’t able to effectively and constructively defend our point.
Knowing how to argue– if there’s no other option — isn’t easy. It’s not something we are taught.
Unfortunately, however, there are times in your personal or professional life where there’s no other option than to start these tense, complicated dialogues.
However, if you learn how to argue well with control and intelligence and without losing your cool, you can keep your mind clear and ready to truly express yourself.
Today, we’d like to prose 5 strategies to help you control your emotions as much as possible.
“It is impossible to argue with the ignorant” – Immanuel Kant
1. Know the person in front of you, but most of all, know yourself.
Knowing others is wisdom, but knowing yourself is enlightenment.
But why do I need to know myself in order to argue well?
- To keep your cool, you must use your inner strength, security, and self-esteem.
- If the other person falls into the error of saying things like “you don’t know what you’re talking about” or even “your ego is too big,” then none of this will affect you because you already know who you are.
Therefore that which is not true does not need to hurt you.
- To leave an argument on top, you should also know the other person’s weak points.
- Knowing, for example, that the person in front of you has low self-esteem or that they project their insecurity into aggressiveness will help you stay relaxed and sure of yourself.
Knowing how to connect with yourself and with the person in front of you will give you more control over the situation.
2. Turn off your negative emotions when arguing.
If you want to keep your cool in an argument, you must learn to control your negative emotions.
Anger, pride, resentment, rage, anxiety… All of these put you on the defensive with your “nails” out.
There comes a time when you get yourself in “attack mode,” and that’s when you lose control, stop arguing logically, and reduce yourself to accusations and dialogue that leads nowhere.
To take back the reins in situations like these, do the following:
Visualize yourself from the outside. Imagine you’re looking at the argument from the outside, calm and peaceful.
Nobody can hurt you there. You’re safe to simply embrace yourself.
Now, think about what points you can make to get this situation going somewhere.
3. Don’t answer right away. Give it time.
When arguments aren’t going anywhere and the participants aren’t listening to each other, it won’t take long for them to start throwing ugly words and nonconstructive criticism at each other. Sooner or later, they’ll say things they will regret.
What is the point of behaving like this?
There is no point, of course.
- To make it a productive argument and keep your cool, it is a very good idea to take your time before responding. There’s no hurry.
- Listen carefully to what the other person is saying. Analyze it.
- Watch how it impacts you and then carefully think of your response.
However, remember that you shouldn’t answer in a way that increases the tension.
If you see that the argument isn’t going anywhere and is just an excuse to hurt each other and let your negative emotions out, end it.
Don’t forget that some arguments are not worth it.
4. Breathe deeply.
When you’re alert and in the middle of an argument, your brain interprets it almost as if it were a threat.
That’s when it sets of a series of reactions: your heart races, you start shaking, your breathing gets shallow, your mouth gets dry, your stomach starts hurting…
To keep your cool in an argument in moments like these, there’s nothing better than controlling your breathing.
A good way to do that is to inhale deeply and exhale slowly.
A peaceful mind reasons better.
“We recommend also reading: Kiss Your Insomnia Goodbye with these 5 Breathing Techniques: They Work Great!”
5. Train your inner peace: get ready for life’s daily challenges.
Our everyday life demands a lot from us: arguing well, dealing with frustration, criticism, and facing life’s general little adversities.
Being prepared inside will help us face the challenges that come up outside.
To do that, it will be very helpful to practice the following exercises:
- Practice mindfulness
- Exercise or do a sport
- Channel your emotions through art: whether it writing, dancing, painting…
- Cultivate your inside: nourish your self-confidence, self-esteem, and work on your values.
- Practice active, assertive dialogue, increase your vocabulary, work on your logic, practice strategies you can use in all kinds of conversations and that will help you feel sure of yourself and relaxed.
Overall, don’t delay in putting these simple tips into practice. We’re sure that the next time you can’t help but start an argument that you’ll face it more effectively and competently.