Arguing vs. Fighting — A Guide to (Actual) Problem Solving
Being in the spiritual world, arguing seems like a BIG no-no, sometimes any act of “negative” emotion is considered wrong, shameful, or “low-vibration”… well, let’s rewrite that, shall we? My Aries moon tends to embrace confrontation, and I would often find myself fighting and not actually making any progress. Simply shouting, saying how I feel, how it was wrong, maybe even calling them a name, and then storming away. I think that it is more that vibe that is low, but can also feel really healing to get it all out. So, as Mercury goes retrograde, let’s embrace the healing of being heard, with a more constructive model where you can actually find a solution.
Believe it or not, there is a big difference between an argument and a fight. If you get people together, disagreements are bound to happen. There is always opportunity for miscommunication, confusion, and differing beliefs. Arguing can actually be healthy and a necessary part of any relationship, because it allows you to build more trust, find a solution, and learn how to support and love someone (and yourself) in relationships. However, arguments can easily turn into fights if you are not careful. Use these steps to prevent fighting and embrace a solution.
Sit Down and Engage
Sometimes, the hardest part of having a healthy argument is actually sitting down and having it. It can be scary to confront someone and let them know your truth. And if you put it off, it can come off as passive aggressive and spiral into a blowout fight. Make the time to have this talk and let the other person know what it is about so that they can process it as well. Create a safe space. Have you ever heard of a talking stick? I know it can sound strange, but many cultures turned towards this to make sure everyone feels heard, seen and witnessed, because at the end of the day, that is where the healing is. Turn off distractions like your phone, take a couple of deep breaths together, and ask the person if they are ready to show up. Sometimes, that answer can be no, and that is okay. You want both people to show up fully to work through it and get closer. Scary, but very effective.
Focus on The Solution
Let go of the idea that someone is going to “win.” Focus on what is right, not who is right. Most of the time people do things that hurt you because they are unaware. You can’t expect anyone to know what is best for you, so let them know. Use your own perspective and how things make you feel, instead of using words that may make them feel attacked and put them on the defense. There is a method of communication called nonviolent communication — I suggest looking it up. It focuses on exactly this, the feelings rather than an attack. So, for example, when I am in an argument with my beloved, I would say “When you do (insert something that annoyed me here), I feel (insert emotion here). All of a sudden, you can start to get to the root of the problem together, rather than put that person on the defense. Even though it sometimes feels forced and like I’m learning a new foreign language, it has been working for us. I’m curious to here how it works for you!
Keep The Respect
Avoid raised voices, name calling, eye rolling, sarcasm, and anything else you might want to pull out when you hear what you don’t want to hear. If you want respect, you have to give it. Keep your cool by breathing, listening, and asking questions over shouting perspectives. You can’t take back something you say, and I tended to be the Queen of not knowing when to reel it in and keep my mouth shut, so this is coming from a total place of humbleness and acknowledgement that this part can be hard for some of us!
As hard as it is, listen without interruption. You may hear something that you want to immediately correct, but hold off — let the other person feel heard and understood, just as you would want to. Don’t cut people off, and be careful not to twist their words to fit your own perspective. Actually listen, together. It may also help to repeat what they said back to you and say something like, “what I’m hearing you say is that you feel (insert your interpretation here).
Let Go of the Blame Game
It can be hard to not blame someone for “making” you feel bad. At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own feelings. Try to see where they are coming from more than telling them they are the source of your discomfort. Let them know what their actions sparked in you, and clue them into your mindset. You’ll be surprised at how quickly things can change when someone is aware of it! This also doesn’t mean that people don’t do shitty things and you can’t have emotion behind it — that is not the point of this. It means that you can come to a place of self soothing and self regulating to show up form a place of strength over reaction. You can even come with some compassion and willingness to listen. This is also very hard sometimes, especially if someone wronged you. If you’re willing to talk about it and make amends, this is the most empowered way to approach it.
It is amazing how quickly insecurities can come out during a fight, and when that happens, the easiest thing for your mind to do is jump to conclusions that validate your insecurities. Remember that the person you are choosing to engage with should be trusted. Not everyone does things consciously, and not everyone knows how to show up for you in the ways you need
When tension arises, so do our defenses. Take a deep breath and prepare to get to know the other person better, to get to know yourself better, and to establish a deep, meaningful connection. This is a vulnerable and powerful process that will serve you for the rest of your life. There is nothing better than authentic, true, intimacy, and this is the way to build that in a really awesome way. It may be weird feeling, it may be hard, but it’s been such a powerful journey for me so far.
I am SO curious to get more perspective on this, and to hear if it works for you. Feel free to comment below or message me your experience, or if you have anything you want to add!