Do you like to argue? If so, then that’s fine. This post might not be for you, though – it’s for people who don’t like to argue and who don’t want to argue. When you’re tired of it, there’s definitely another way.

When you thoroughly understand feelings (see Feelings 101The Sedona Method), you realize that arguing is nothing more than a way of expressing emotion. Usually that emotion is anger, but it’s not so important to pinpoint that. Simply understanding that arguing is a way of expressing is the important thing. When you know this, and you know that expressing doesn’t work (because the emotion doesn’t go away permanently – read those links above), then you can see arguing in a different light. You see that it’s pretty much useless.

So what can you do instead of argue? Talk! If you remove the expression of emotion from arguing, it’s called talking. What do we do with that emotion, though? We feel it and release it, of course! When we recognize something like anger in our bodies, we definitely don’t want to do much interacting with others if we can avoid it. It’s much better to stop, go inward, check it out, allow it to be there, and make sure you’re not holding. Then it can pass when it’s ready. Once it has decreased some and you feel like it’s no longer in control, then it’s a much better time to talk about whatever it was you needed to talk about. So you’re not running away from an important conversation – you’re taking a timeout to cool off. Then you can return and be much more effective in calmly resolving the issue at hand. Arguing generally isn’t the best way of solving problems. And it might give you high blood pressure, too…

People tend to get tripped up because the anger can rise very quickly, and before they know it there’s a full-blown argument or they’re yelling instead of talking. It’s all about catching it early – it’s much easier to release a little anger (or any other feeling) than a lot. The same rules of feeling and releasing always apply, though, no matter how much there is.

If you want to stop arguing and there’s someone in your life with whom you tend to argue, it might help to explain all of this so s/he knows what’s going on. Some clients have reported that when they start to argue and then try to go into a different room to cool off, the other person follows them, yelling about how they’re running away. And this makes the person even angrier, so now the situation is worse. Not a good plan! Instead, let’s get the other person on the same page so s/he can endorse the new plan and have an attitude of, “Yes, please go cool off! That way we can find a solution much more quickly.”

After that, it’s all about practice. You’ll catch the anger earlier and earlier until you notice that it just doesn’t have as much power over you. You can keep your tone calm. And since current anger taps into any unfelt anger you’re holding from the past, as you continue to let this stuff go there’s less and less of it in your body. You notice you’re walking lighter. The same things don’t make you as angry. When you see this, you know you’re making pretty massive progress. Keep it up, and let me know if I can help!