Monday, April 22, 2013

Communication Rule Number Eight

Don’t Get Sidetracked Arguing Over Irrelevant Details.
“It was in November that it happened.” “No, it was October.” “I remember distinctly it was November.” “You’re wrong. I wasn’t even wearing a jacket.” Arguing over such an irrelevant detail hijacks the conversation.

But the reason people get caught up in such side arguments is that every detail is a chance to express the outrage they feel with their partner and a place to make a stand against what they see as their partner’s need to be right. People argue about irrelevant issues because they are so upset with their partners that they don’t want to agree with them about anything.
In such cases, there is no such thing as an irrelevant issue.
It’s useful to realize that whenever you and your partner get bogged down over irrelevant details, the argument is no longer about a particular issue (if it ever was) but about your general frustration with each other. And it’s useful to realize that whatever sense of good will (willingness to give each other the benefit of the doubt) may have existed between you and your partner before has, for the moment at least, disappeared.

Dan Wile

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