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When we think of a gentleman or lady, we imagine someone with poise, someone who is well-mannered and refined. When we consider a typical argument or disagreement, we do not equate any of the previous three qualities with a lady or gentleman. We tend to imagine a shouting match, emotional reactions to trigger the greatest harm, etc. .

However, this is not the way of a gentleman or lady. Neither a gentleman nor a lady should react first, and think later. A gentleman and lady will first reflect, before proposing a response

What does this all mean?

Well, to argue or disagree with someone is a part of life. We will not agree in all situations, so eventually, you will debate with your partner, sibling, parent, coworker, etc. However, the issue is not arguing in and of itself.

The issue involves what I would consider fighting fair. The emphasis occurs with I, because this is entirely an opinion, which has helped my relationship.

There are countless reasons why individuals in platonic, as well as romantic relationships argue. In fact, regardless what triggers an argument; it all comes down to fighting fair.

As a young gentleman, I have come to understand when you remove the gloves during an argument; you are no longer fighting fair. At this point, you want to deliver as many verbal blows as possible, making the other person feel exactly as you.

That is not the sign of maturity. In reality, that is a defense mechanism…a sign of weakness even. In this type of quarreling, the idea is to project your feelings onto another individual, by any means necessary.

I am not above mistakes and neither is anyone else. In other words, I have made these same blunders. We are constantly learning each day about others and ourselves.

Have I been in a situation where I acted first and then assessed the action(s) later? Without a doubt in the past, I have projected my thoughts irrationally during a disagreement.

I am not proud of this, but I have made it my mission to change. This change took place years ago, so I hope to provide some insight that could possibly help others.

In the heat of an argument, I know this will sound strange, but before you reply, enter a place of Zen or realm of peace.  This is a place where your mind is at ease and rejecting the notion of simply reacting. This realm of peace is where you want to evaluate the situation at hand, above anything else.

Allow the other person to speak their point clearly, without any interruption on your end. The key here is making the other person aware of one thing: they have your undivided attention.

Keep in mind, in the midst of an argument, to interrupt is similar to launching a low-blow punch. This interruption can instigate things further, escalating the initial speaker’s rage.

Why is this point so important? When emotions are high, you sometimes say whatever comes to mind first. These reactions are rarely positive in nature. For instance:

Your mother’s so-called coveted chicken recipe, well, I’ve had dirt that was more delicious. 

or

I’ve always thought you had a little penis.

Do we really mean what we say in these instances? In many situations, I would say yes, but in others, not so much. For the latter, whatever gets under their skin the most, becomes your weapon of choice.

Once the other person has made their point(s), after you were able to assess their position, which was the purpose of step one, now is the time to clarify your side based on theirs.

This is step two. The reason for listening is to understand the perspective of the other individual. If you do not use their points in your response, you have defeated the purpose of listening.

At this stage, the first speaker is now on the receiving end. It is now their turn to understand through your perspective, your take on the subject at hand. This step is a difficult one for many, because reacting calmly is not an easy feat.

However, anything worth having is difficult. With a logical point of view, peacefully express your perspective.

After concluding your position, the listener once again becomes the speaker. This is step three. In this step, the first speaker will now assess your rebuttal to their initial reaction. This means they are now responding to your reaction.

The goal is to give each person the floor, without any interruption. In this type of disagreement, hitting below the belt is not necessary, if the goal is making one’s point clear.

As you can see, the steps can go on and on if necessary but the key is listening attentively, remaining respectful and rational minded. When we refuse to communicate effectively, this is how best friends become enemies after a bitter argument.

When we react irrationally, this is how couples living together go days without speaking.

The key is very simple: communication is vital for anyone relationship. In my relationship, even when we disagree, low-blow tactics are never part of the discussion.

Sadly, when I listen to some couples argue, it is akin to a battle of insults. I am grateful having a wife who rejects this type of behavior. I am a lucky husband indeed.

…to be continued.

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