As soon as you realize the conversation has begun to heat up, do what you can to cool it down. The best tool for it: the socratic method!
You must always go for a win/win outcome, otherwise you will meet with confrontation frequently.
As soon as you become aware the conversation gotten out of control and begun to heat up, do what you can to cool it down.
Say something caring.
Try finding a funny side to the disagreement. Change a comment from a statement to a question. For example: “Don’t behave like a child!” becomes, “Do you think that is the behavior of an adult?”
For years now, I have adopted what is known as the “Socrates Method”. I learned this years ago from a self-development book and decided to check out the book “Socrates Way” by Roland Gross.
It covers his life story and the strategy he used during all of the meetings and discussions he had with anybody. In simple terms, it says to always transform what you want to say into a question.
This way, you never will be the person to start an argument or lose control of your emotions. The other person usually does.
The “Socrates Method,” in part, allows enough time and rope for the other person to “hang themselves” in the conversation. They come to a point where they realize they are being ridiculous and/or silly in their comments and that they are out of the realm of common sense.
Once the person realizes what he or she is doing or saying no longer makes any sense, they will back away. The famous saying, “common sense always prevails,” rings so true.
And it has worked for me very well indeed. I have decreased disagreements in all areas of my life by ninety-five percent by implementing this technique. Remember, questions are the answers. The bigger the question you find, the bigger the answer you will receive.
In my life, I have found this attitude is extremely useful when having those family “get-togethers” or rituals. It has brought me so much joy over the years that I cannot see my relatives without thinking this way. What I am talking about are the special occasions where all the relations meet up and share a special day with each other.
With my family it is birthdays, Christmas and Easter. We always celebrated our direct family members’ birthdays until the children and grandchildren came along; then we just celebrated theirs. All were invited and if some did not turn up, we would catch up with them next time.
It was a great way to share with each other what was going on in our lives. I am sure that is why my mother has not sold her four-bedroom house and moved into a smaller unit; she could not have all of her descendents under the one roof at the same time as she has done all of these years.
When our lives become too hectic and we sometimes forget to see each other, it is good to know we will see each other again, the next time we meet up for that special occasion.
I feel sad for families who are not close or do not meet up on a regular basis. I feel they are missing out on a very important ingredient in their lives, a strong family bond cemented with love.
Get-togethers give you up-to-date news on where you are regarding any issues that may not have been brought up because “it wasn’t the right time.” Get-togethers give everyone a chance to have “get it off your chest” chats so the issue does not escalate into “holding a grudge.”
These chats will resolve any conflict and “nip it in the bud” before it has a chance to manifest into negative feelings inside the family unit. The longer it goes unheard, the longer it will take to resolve. By then, usually no one can be bothered to spend the time addressing it anyway.
If you keep the end in mind and think win/win in any disagreement you always will feel better than if you did not. Take my word for it. I have tried this many times. You will not be disappointed.