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  • Asher Neate

Why it’s okay to argue

Updated: Jan 13, 2019

When something doesn't sit right or agree with you internally, its okay to voice that concern and learn from what happens next.

I'm not sure about you, but sometimes I don't agree with what others around me are saying and it has been difficult to voice what I was feeling in the moment. Upon reflection, and with more knowledge comes the realisation that the feelings and thoughts are important to listen to and sometimes disagreeing and speaking up in such situations can teach you a lot about yourself and those around you.

Be Honest With Yourself

Embracing our core beliefs and stepping into our power can be incredibly fulfilling. Denying or ignoring these messages our body is telling us can be very detrimental in every sense.

When you are in the midst of an argument or you can feel one brewing (we all know the feeling) have you ever noticed the thoughts you are thinking (and/or not saying)? Are you yelling to hurt the other person because you do not agree on something? You think you're 100% right and them wrong? Are you saying hurtful things to inflict the most damage possible or get a shock reaction out of them? Saying whats wrong but not what the problem is? Lashing out because you are embarrassed, hurt, rejected (insert any other feeling here.....) All of these things can tell you so much about who you are and what you need if you allow exploration of the meanings behind the words, the expectations and the beliefs you have. We are all capable of doing and saying the most incredible things, both good and bad. We are human. Arguing and releasing the emotions behind our discomfort or unease can be therapeutic in that you are expressing yourself and remaining true to your core values. The value we gain from being authentic (there's that new word) increases empowerment and our ability to consciously and positively stand up for ourselves and others.

Don't Silence Yourself, Embrace the Message

This does not mean you need to say every thought that pops into your head at any given time, especially during an argument. This can mean stepping away for a time and really reflecting on what is going on for yourself (and the others around you) in this moment. Sometimes we feel as though we have to make the other person 100 % agree with us or 'pay' in some way for a perceived infraction. Given the time, place and reason for the argument it is usually wise to not rise and react in the moment. You can establish your point and argue civilly and without the need for escalation, if you know where the difference is during the argument and why it is so important to you to voice what you think and/or feel. Issues such as politics, life choices, and religion vary for every individual and discussions of these topics can be beneficial to highlight issues and information that we may not have known or understood previously.

As a society we are moving away from living in diverse neighbourhoods which provided a wealth of knowledge and compassion for others, increasing awareness of world issues and differing opinions and moving toward staying with like minded people who effectively are just like you. This can feel comfortable and 'safe', however, we can miss great and profound lessons by ignoring and disregarding things that are important to others and the opportunity for you to do the same. In only listening to and giving worth to opinions that are like your own you do yourself a great disservice and can miss opportunities to connect with other individuals and expand compassion around the world.

Accept the discomfort and learn from the lesson.

I have recently found the works of author and research professor Brene' Brown which have had a great impact on my views of discomfort and confrontation, effectively arguments, and her mantra in the moment is "choose discomfort over resentment". Although in her context it is in regards to saying no when you want/need to and not always placating others to keep the status quo or be seen as not being difficult. This can help immensely in being better at sitting with uncomfortable feelings and also standing your ground when you feel that something being said to or around you is not 'right'. In having discussions with people that may be heated and in opposition you may not always feel satisfied with the outcomes, however, adjusting your expectation whenever interacting with others and pausing before responding gives you and the other person an opportunity to process each others perspective and potentially impact their thoughts and opinions. This is not always the case and a lot of the time arguments and differences will remain but having a well reasoned discussion can provide information that shows what you believe in in this world and what you stand for.

Put Into Practice

Please do not take this article to mean go and argue with every person on every topic that you differ on, and equally do not confront others with the intention of teaching them a lesson. The next time discomfort arises and differences are evident take a breathe, pause and really ask yourself why this is affecting you and what does this say about yourself and the other person/s? If it is safe to do so, engage in a meaningful conversation and explore the reasons behind your own and someone else's view point. It can enrich your life and the life of others you come into contact with.

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