Daily Prompt: Perspective Write about the last disagreement you had with a friend or family member — from their perspective.
When I was growing up my mom would say, “She’d argue with a brick wall.” She was wrong. What was the point of arguing with something that couldn’t argue back? What’s the big deal that my dad and I had debates? He taught me how to argue, how to stand up for myself, how to defend myself (literally and figuratively). But we rarely argued. Rarely. Even now we’ve been known to have a debate or two. But it doesn’t happen often anymore because I’ve gotten (almost) old, and he’s (pretty much) old so we don’t have the patience we used to have for a good debate.
What my dad taught me was that people think about things differently. Two people can be watching an event take place and they’ll both have a different view of what happened. Same thing happened, but two different perspectives. The old cliche of there are three sides to every story: his side, her side, and the truth.
There are no winners when you argue. Not a real shouting match kind of argument because usually someone says something they didn’t mean, then the other person says something back, and that’s not a healthy argument that’s a shouting match with insults thrown in. I don’t argue that way. I will walk off. Plain and simple. I have been in the middle of one of those a time or two and it leaves you feeling just awful inside.
I’m one of those people who often play’s Devil’s Advocate. It’s something my dad taught me. If you want to be able to win an argument then you need to be able to argue both sides, you’ll need to know the pros and cons…so I tend to put myself in the other person’s shoes, or at least attempt to. It’s not always easy, but if you really want to avoid an argument the best way to do that is to empathize with the other person. Once you see things from their point of view it’s much easier to sit down and talk things out. Then you really don’t feel the need to argue. At least, it seems that way to me.