Learning How to Argue Effectively

May 5, 2013 at 11:33 am | Posted in Family Ties, Friends Then and Now, Relationship Woes | 1 Comment
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Right about now, any of my good friends who are reading this are probably laughing at the subject of this post, and for good reason.  I’ve never been one to hide or hold back my emotions, no matter what the setting.  The only way I know how to not burst out with emotion when something happens, is to leave the situation.  I have gotten crap for both approaches.  My friends would likely prefer that I just suck it up, that I just not take it personally, so we could just move on.  That’s something I haven’t learned yet.  I can take a joke, but the moment I feel I have been disrespected, a switch goes off and it is on.

So clearly I have some growing to do in this area, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned anything from my experiences.

I have learned that it’s okay to go to bed angry.  I’ve always been told the opposite, but I often find that if I go to bed angry, things are usually better in the morning.  Maybe I was arguing because I was tired or drunk. Maybe we’re just talking in circles getting nowhere.  Whatever the situation a good night’s sleep helps me find clarity.

I have learned to try to see things from the other person’s perspective, even when I feel I’m not being heard.  If I take a step back and see it from their perspective beforehand, it may keep a fight from starting.

I have learned that most arguments are stress related.  It’s very easy to take things out on the people closest to you.  Relationships alone are hard, and when things in life are not going smoothly or as planned, arguments can happen.

I’ve learned that anger is blinding.  When you are angry, you say things you don’t mean.  You say things to hurt.  You say them because you hurt.  Maybe you aren’t even really angry.  Maybe you are just hurt, and you want that other person to feel how hurt you are.

So while I’ve learned some things, I haven’t quite mastered the art of arguing effectively, arguing to resolution.  But maybe that’s not the point.  I’m not a lawyer, but I will continue to have arguments, I know.  But if I can take a pause, maybe I can thwart a couple of arguments along the way.

What I Said

March 30, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Posted in Friends Then and Now, Relationship Woes | Leave a comment
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I meant what I said when I said it.

I don’t know if I would have meant it now,

if you heard it then,

or how you’d hear it now.

Maybe things would have been different.

Maybe things could have been different.

Maybe we wouldn’t have been,

maybe we would have been,

different together,

but it happened at that moment,

between you and me,

and it would have been different

at any other moment

between you and me.

If we met at a different time

Or different circumstances

We might have been friends

lovers,

enemies.

We might have understood each other

If circumstances were different.

But I said what I said when I said it

And I meant it, back then.

I don’t know if I would mean it now.

It’s different now.

We are different now.

I don’t know how I’ll feel

if I see you again

I don’t know if us being different

will change what I said,

if I can go back and say it again, differently.

But I meant it then,

and maybe I’d mean it now,

or maybe it would mean, or you would mean

something different to me, now

and maybe, just maybe

I’d say something different

today,

if I were to see you again.

Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About

February 28, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Posted in Friends Then and Now, Relationship Woes | Leave a comment
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When I was younger, I remember looking at older couples, studying older couples, wanting so badly to understand how relationships worked.  What did they talk about all the time?  Where were they going when they drove around together?  What was it that they did together?  As a pre-teen and into your teenage years, you have a lot of time to think about things like this as you try to learn and understand the world.  When you aren’t in school or doing homework, there really isn’t all that much to worry about. At least, that’s how I see it in retrospect.  I spent a lot of my free time hanging out with my friends, talking on the phone with my friends, picking out cute outfits to wear, and painting my nails.  In terms of going out, options were fairly limited.  The world was small and the problems were even smaller.  Of course, back then, they were the end of the world, but now I know better.

I know that there is constantly so much going on, every day.  I know that I start my day with some excitement from the adventures with my dog, or the texts from my BFF about her date last night.  I know that there will be some drama going on at work that will be the gossip of the office.  I know that there will be something happening with my family that I’ll be looped in on.  I know there will be stories and situations involving my friends.  I know there will be plans being made and bills to worry about.  I know that every day will be different somehow, and my spouse and I will have plenty to talk about as we ride in the car together day after day.

It’s kind of funny when I think about the hours I spent on the phone as a young teen, having my own private line so I didn’t wrap up the family line and so my friends didn’t have to speak to my parents before reaching me.  Now on the other side of this, I wonder what I was talking about then?  In reading some of the journals I have found, it seems that a lot of my conversations were about my friends and crushes I had.  I had way too many crushes, that’s for sure!  When I have kids, I will reflect on my journals, look for answers to help me relate and remember.  I will try to keep my kids a bit busier with more stimulating activities.  I will probably tell my future daughter “boys can wait, you need to experience the world.”  I will try to help my children experience the world, so that when they get older they will have plenty to talk about.

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