Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Arguing isn’t communication, it’s noise. Tony Gaskin

We hear life is what we make it, but we think everything about our life can’t be what we make it, can it? I’m listening to a YouTube personality say something like, “My wife and I are getting a divorce and it’s my fault because I chose wrong.” He is being ridiculed for this but when we find we aren’t who we thought we were or someone else isn’t, shouldn’t we take full responsibility for thinking someone was something they weren’t even if that someone is us?

Would it sound better if he said, “I find to my regret I couldn’t be or at least wasn’t the person my wife needed me to be, to continue our relationship?”

How do we go through life getting better, not bitter? Is getting through the ups and downs of life without getting bitter one of our greatest challenges and if we can pull it off, one of our greatest achievements?

Online I read there are six words Brene Brown tells us we can use to stop an argument. What can they be I ask myself as I read on. “The story I’m making up is.” If I say those six words to my husband during our next argument I can see how they might stop the argument because what do you say to that? Perhaps I was expecting something profound like the gotcha statement I’m looking for that means, “Bet you can’t top this,” which is why we are quarreling in the first place. Each of us tries to prove to the other we are right, which of course makes the other person wrong, which doesn’t improve relationships.

She also tells us to delve a little deeper. What are the facts, and what are my assumptions? What do I need to know about the others involved? What am I really feeling? What part did I play?

Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean. Audrey Wachter

Do we really want to live with someone we’ve proved wrong? That doesn’t sound like fun, nor do endless arguments that can’t be won. Is there an answer to whether it is better to be a conservative or a liberal, a Christian, an atheist, or some other religion? Who has life harder, men or women? Who is treated most unfairly in life – pick your group, but will we agree on the answer?

We see life from our point of view, and how can we see it from anyone else’s point of view? Reading stories may immerse us in the lives of people and help us see things from their point of view or the author’s point of view. We listen to the news and different platforms slant the same story differently because they look at things through different lenses.

Sometimes in situations that don’t involve us, we pick a side and we see things from one side more than the other, and if our partner picks a different side an argument can ensue.

Is it possible to not take a side? A pox on both their houses and no one is right. Brene Brown tells us,” “We just have to be brave enough to reckon with our deepest emotions.” We have to let others reckon with theirs, without making them wrong for not thinking what we think, wanting what we want, or seeing things how we see them. But, it is so obvious that we are right we can’t even fathom how they can’t see it, and therein lies the rub.

When we can’t see how we could possibly be wrong we don’t leave space for anyone else to be right. Can we somehow find a way to give others the space to think what they think, be who they are, and realize they want things to be better too, even if their better isn’t what we think is better?

Be calm in arguing for fierceness makes error a fault and truth discourtesy. George Herbert

Raise your words, not your voice. It is the rain that grows flowers, not thunder. Rumi

Let the angry word be answered with a kiss. Thomas Hill

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