What do you do when you are faced with an idea that is opposing to yours? You want to do something while the person wants you to do something else. What happens next? The battle begins. An argument starts.
What we may lose sight while arguing is the actual issue at hand. Our focus moves from the issue to the person with whom we are arguing. We try to win over the person rather than talk about the situation.
Let’s say – I want to go for a party and my father doesn’t agree. What happens next is the drama triangle: I play the role of a victim and say, “You never let me do what I want. You are always telling me what I should do.”
Now this is a tempting invitation for my father to get into the role of a persecutor. “You never listen to me. You are always arguing. You don’t know what is good. Is that party more important than me?”
If you see now, the issue is out of proportions. It looks like someone is deliberately trying to restrict me or that I am intentionally being rude. That is far from reality.
Instead, imagine this – when we had a difference of opinion – if I stick to the issue at hand and address only that – “Dad, I really want to go for the party. I know you are concerned about my safety, and here’s what I am doing to ensure that I am safe. Let me know what else I can do to make you feel comfortable. I understand that this may not be very important but I have really been looking forward to it and it would mean the world if you agreed.” Asking the right questions and addressing the point of disconnect is what is usually most beneficial.
This kind of discussion keeps the drama out and steers us away from an argument. Eventually, whether the person agrees or not is a different thing. At least you are approaching it from a clean space. The likelihood of someone agreeing to you is greater when you explain yourself in rapport than when you go down to a personal battle of words. It also usually invites the other person to explain their rationale just as neutrally. Then it isn’t about winning or losing, it’s just about whether or not to go about something in a certain way – while acknowledging the other’s opinion. It isn’t necessary for someone to lose for us to win. It’s just wonderful to win and have others along with us in it.