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April 14, 2020

Fights Vs Arguments

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As great, amazing, and cooperative people are, there is always going to be one recurring problem. We don’t always see eye to eye. There’s an art to handling disagreements and negotiating, so that you ultimately get the result you want. But, there are two very different ways of going about it that don’t always seem different, and I explore it a bit today.

What is the difference between a fight and argument? To enumerate, this is physical harm aside, we’re talking about exclusively in a conversation. But the fact that an argument resolves without violence speaks to the difference as well.

When we fight, we want to assert dominance. We want to overrule through force and intimidation. This is often why fights are an exchange with more intensity, because more energy is put into the interaction and emotions escalate and amplify. As a result things get personal and out of line and hurtful. I think we can all agree this is less constructive.

This is because in a fight we don’t go in with the common interest to resolve. That’s an argument. Arguing is about taking positions and converting people over to your side. While there could definitely be a large disagreement still within those two sides, both parties are approaching it from trying to generate a certain outcome. In doing that, we don’t resort to personal attacks because that isn’t an effective way of converting their beliefs. In arguments, you share your authentic beliefs and the reason why you’ve come to certain conclusions, which is based more in facts and experience. 

It comes down to this. In a fight, you want to win, and that could come at the expense of someone else. In an argument, you want to win over, show why your position is superior, and encourage them to believe that too.

 Very different once it’s explained right? Now, it’s on you to understand when you might be in a fight, and figure out how to transition that into an argument.

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