The Ten Words to Stop an Argument

conflict management emotional intelligence interpersonal relationships what to say Oct 07, 2020

When you find yourself trying to resolve a conflict that seems to be spinning out of control, stop and ask the other person this question ...

"What do you need so that this relationship feels good?"

You know what it feels like to be in a conflict that is heading south, or spinning out of control.

It turns into a he said/she said. One person says, “You did this,” and the other person says, “Oh, well you do this.”

You can feel it when it happens.

To stop this downward cycle, ask this simple question: “What do you need so that this relationship feels good?”

It’s likely that the other person will respond with something like, “I need for you to stop being a jerk,” or some other insulting statement that blames you.

Instead of retaliating, take a breath, and clarify by speaking about your needs with non-blaming “I-statements."

Say something like,

“I need security in my life. I need to feel stable. Sometimes when you spend money, I feel like my need for stability and security is being threatened."

"What about you? What need of yours is not being met in our relationship?”

When you ask about the other person’s needs, the entire tone of the conversation will change.

People who care about each other can almost always find a way to help the other person get their needs met.

When you realize that conflicting needs are the cause of many of your interpersonal conflicts, you have a powerful tool for resolving them amicably.

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