Do s and don ts for arguing a ppropriately
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Ethics of Arguing. Do’s and Don’ts for Arguing A ppropriately. There’s a lot of anger out there. Road rage Little League and Ayso fights Hell’s Kitchen, Real Housewives Zinedine Sedane Christian Bale Mel Gibson. Arguing needn’t be combative

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Do s and don ts for arguing a ppropriately

Ethics of Arguing

Do’s and Don’ts for Arguing Appropriately


There s a lot of anger out there
There’s a lot of anger out there

  • Road rage

  • Little League and Ayso fights

  • Hell’s Kitchen, Real Housewives

  • Zinedine Sedane

  • Christian Bale

  • Mel Gibson

  • Arguing needn’t be combative

  • Arguing is an asset, not a liability, in a relationship


Don t avoid arguing
Don’t avoid arguing

  • Avoiding an argument won’t make an issue go away

  • Arguing gets issues out into the open

  • Arguing lets people know where they stand in the relationship

  • Couples who report high relationship satisfaction also report that they argue frequently over specific issues


Keep arguments manageable
Keep arguments manageable

  • deal with one issue at a time

  • bring up an issues in the “here and now.”

    • “I’m upset about what you just said”

    • “I want to talk to you about this as soon as we’re home.”

  • don’t engage in “sandbagging”

    • Don’t save up issues and dump them on the other person suddenly


  • It s okay to get angry
    It’s okay to get angry

    • It is okay to be angry at someone, but anger must be managed

      • “own” your anger

        • Take responsibility for your feelings

      • use “I” statements

        • don’t blame the other person for your emotions

        • Wrong: “You make me so mad!”

        • Wrong: “Are you trying to make me mad?”

        • Right: “I’m really angry at you right now”

      • if you are too upset to be rational, then wait until you cool off


    Use active listening skills
    Use active listening skills

    • Avoid mental counter-arguing

      • listen instead of mentally rehearsing your objections

    • Acknowledge when another person makes a good point

      • “I agree with you on that point. I hadn’t thought of it that way.”

      • “I think you are right about that.”


    More about listening skills
    More about listening skills

    • Use paraphrasing to demonstrate you understand the other person’s point of view

    • Paraphrasing summarizes your opponent’s position

      • “if I understand you correctly…”

      • “What I hear you saying is…”

    • Use perception checking to make sure you understand the other person’s point of view

    • Paraphrasing clarifies your opponent’s position

      • “Are you saying that…?”

      • “So you’re upset because…?”


    Focus on issues not personalities
    Focus on issues, not personalities

    • focus on the specific issue.

      • what is the locus of the disagreement?

      • emphasize points of agreement, not just disagreement

    • avoid engaging in verbal aggression

      • personal attacks, put-downs, insults

    • avoid threats, ultimatums

    • avoid passive-aggressive behavior

      • getting back at the other person in a round about way


    Disrupt and deflect attacks
    Disrupt and Deflect Attacks

    Ernie: “What’s it like, being stupid 24/7?”

    Zola: “Rather than focusing on my shortcomings, let’s concentrate on getting this project finished.”

    Ernie: “Your teeth are brighter than you are.”

    Zola: “Ernie, insulting me isn’t going to help solve this problem.”

    Ernie: “I’ll be nicer, when you get smarter.”

    Zola: “I’ll try my best. Now, shall we tackle this project?”



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