Menu Color:
Main Color:

Blog

How to Recover from an Argument

How to Recover from an Argument

Emotions have a way of escalating out of control especially in a close relationship. We are often baffled by another's behavior or choices. Instead of a calm conversation to explore what is happening, we feel angry, hurt, sad, or any number of other reactions that indicate we feel threatened, unheard or unseen. If we are able to get past immediate reactions, however, we soon realize that what we “understood” to be happening, often is not accurate. 

At a certain point in my life I began to see this pattern in myself: every time I was certain that I knew why someone had done or said something, I discovered later that I had been mistaken. A passing word would open my eyes and make me realize I had completely misread the situation.  It can happen so easily. A simple example, a colleague of mine was late for an appointment and I became angry. She was struggling with migraines. This placed me on the alert. I realized I might not be as accurate in my assessment of other people's motives as I had thought.

The second step in de-escalating an emotional situation is to remind yourself of the affection you have for the other person. When we feel threatened, hurt or angry, our connections to another person are weakened and sometimes actually broken. Love turns quickly to resentment or even hatred. We forget the ties that bind us to one another. 

To help yourself, recall a meaningful experience you have had with the other person. Remember something he/she shared with you about their personal vulnerability and weakness. Once you realize that we are all weak and poor before the Lord, you can make the Christ-like leap of love. Christ-like love reverences a person because they have been created by God; they exist and are held in existence by God. They are redeemed by Christ and he walks by their side every moment of the day and night, just as he walks beside you. 

Now you are naturally led to a third step which you can calmly formulate as a question: “How can I put aside my own feelings and approach my friend with sincere kindness and concern?” 

It’s not easy to approach someone after an emotional interaction. Here is a tool that might help. You could say: "I'm confused/threatened/sad about what has come between us. I'd really like to understand what this situation means for you. Would you be willing to talk about it with me?" 

Perhaps you will find it difficult to speak to the other person directly. It is enough to keep the thought within you. Use it as a frame of reference for yourself. You will find that the question moves the compass of your heart toward compassion and gradually points you both in the direction of openness to how the problem might be resolved.

Sr. Kathryn James, FSP; www.pauline.org/heartwork

Categories:

Post a Comment

ARCHIVE

LATEST POSTS

  • Recent
  • Popular
  • Tag
  • Love Made Credible

    Love Made Credible

    We often feel love, particularly when we are at the outset of a romantic relationship. The struggles of married life, however, move this feeling much deeper, rooting our love in choice, intentional gi...
  • Before You Argue, Try This

    Before You Argue, Try This

    Sometimes people around us make decisions that make us MAD. We hear about a decision or situation that may or may not affect us personally but about which we have information and/or vested interest. A...
  • I had forgotten what love truly means

    I had forgotten what love truly means

    "In my fight to continue to be me, I had forgotten what love truly means."This line jumped out at me from an article written by Dennis Erford at TOBA Blog. It seems that we have three options whe...
  • Your Wedding Is Part of Something Greater

    Your Wedding Is Part of Something Greater

    "I'm not quite sure why so  many people cared about the details of my wedding.  They were quite often appalled that I couldn't plan each detail of my wedding to make it "the wedding I wanted...
  • God loves me for who I am

    God loves me for who I am

    “I wish I had more self-confidence.” My heart is pounding, my palms sweaty, my fingers cold as ice, and I cannot quite take in a full breath of air. I am standing in general assembly on my first day...
  • Before You Argue, Try This

    Before You Argue, Try This

    Sometimes people around us make decisions that make us MAD. We hear about a decision or situation that may or may not affect us personally but about which we have information and/or vested interest. A...
  • 5 Ways to Undo an Argument

    5 Ways to Undo an Argument

    by Sr. Kathryn J. Hermes, FSPI know when I've been in an argument with someone, I feel devastated. I withdraw. I avert my eyes when I meet the other person again and am not sure whether I can trust th...
  • The Blessing of

    The Blessing of "Unanswered Prayer" - An Adoption Story

    By MaryPat St. Jean  I am still in awe of how abundantly my husband Tom and I have been blessed. Like country music star Garth Brooks states so well in one of his songs, “I thank God ...