How to maintain frictionless relationship with those that argue

Argument is surely not a means for intelligent discussion; it saps mental and physical strength, causing people that engage in it to have bloated selfworth.

The truth is that people who argue do so either because they want to force their opinions on others, they are full of pride and would not want to accept being outwitted, they are myopic or want to peddle a high level of awareness in their environment: the goal is never to contribute to people’s growth, and of course, argument results into sharp disagreement, most often than none.

Speaking on the disagreement that happened between Aaron and Miriam against Moses, O. Carr writes, “When Aaron and Miriam tried to emphasize the quality of all the people with Moses, God made an awesome distinction that they would never forget”.[1] God came through for Moses in a disagreement that was going to cost him his calling but what should you do when you find yourself in a case of argument?

Display intelligence and maturity by agreeing, keeping mute

Your value is not diminished if you refused to engage in argument, and a bruised ego is better than a lifetime error: if you occupied a sensitive position or if you are conscious of the future you would not engage anyone in fruitless argument because argument does not produce any meaningful results.

The Bible says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness”, Proverbs 15:1-2, NKJV. I do not believe that you want to be counted as a fool, but the moment you engage in argument with people that take pleasure in argument – people standing by would not be able to differentiate between you.

Moreover, you would lose nothing if you chose to agree with people that argue – in words and not in principles. If for the sake of peace and tranquility you accept people’s argument – do that by focusing on the task at hand and, gradually, detaching from the scene of argument; before you know it, the person who is arguing will soften his/her voice except there is another person that he/she could argue with. Whatever be the case, you should just be out of the picture!

It’s important to maintain healthy friendship than to be right

Anywhere you see someone that always wants to have the last say just know that – that individual is yet matured psychologically, emotionally and intelligently: it is an opportunity for you to school such person in proper behaviour that is expected of a matured person.

Do not engage, rather, keep your cool and let the other person rant all that he/she can. S. Covey noted that as human beings we have a tendency to rush in, to fix things up with good advice but we often fail to take the time to diagnose, to really, deeply understand the problem first.[2] In the light of Covey’s word, it is required that you try to decipher the motivation behind the argument that an argument-prone person brings up per time – to aid in your approach to quelling its fire before it could spread.

Remember, the goal is not for you to contribute to argument to the point of generating heated argument. If the issue cannot be intelligently discussed, you have no business staying there. However, if you felt so pressed by the heat of the argument, just take consolation in the fact that a time is coming (which might not be with the people that argue) when you would be able to present your view in a more relaxed, more intelligent manner that would generate better responses and positive results in your hearers.

[1] Owen C. Carr, “The Pastor and His Personal Life” in And He Gave Pastor, Thomas F. Zimmerman; G. Raymond Carison; and Zenas J. Bicket, eds., (USA: Gospel Publishing House, 2004), 61.

[2] Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (USA: Free Press, 1989), 237.

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