You will notice that nobody usually argues when they feel they’re the victor. No one even argues about being equal. Every time we’re locked in an argument, it’s because we feel we’re the victim. An argument is therefore essentially a race to victimhood; two people competing to see who can be the bigger victim -that is what’s at the heart of argument in general.
An argument usually involves a process of reasoning designed to persuade, a composition intended to convince. The anatomy of an argument involves two different people with different opinion trying to convince the other person to see it our way. As the arguments escalates, we each see ourselves as the bigger victim, as if earning the rights to throw ourselves the bigger pity-party should not be one of our ambition in a partnership.
In this melee, we then lose track of being responsible for our actions and we instead respond reactively then blame our partner for our reactions. Yet we always have a choice in how we choose to respond in an argument. A good place to start is by understanding that all relationships are in the context of other relationship; it’s never in isolation. This should help us realize that we can never challenge someone else’s reality successfully.
We tend to apply psychological reactance – the tendency of people to resist an idea even if they’re in agreement if they feel like that idea is being pushed upon them. We might feel we have good reasons for our position in an argument, but we cannot discount the other party’s reasons for seeing it a different way, their reasoning is just as valid as ours, at least to some degree. We cannot overcome somebody else’s belief system. We can’t force through it. We can’t make them change perspective. Instead of coming from a convincing place, we should simply seek to invite them into a different perspective and leave it at that.
Instead of fighting for the victim position, how about we negotiate for the victors crown? The victor will understand that we display psychological reactance when we feel that someone or something is taking away our choices or limiting the range of alternatives available to us. Instead of seeking to change another’s opinion, we should simply aspire to share our opinions with them and understand theirs. Life is richer when all the voices are heard and validated. As such, we should all be critical of the single story and resist the temptation to arrive at singular truths about complex situations. Instead of trying to be convincing, let’s seek to understand. Let’s all ask ourselves, would we rather be victims or victors? Cheers, Grey xoxo