“You guys are both saying the same thing. The only reason you’re arguing is because you’re using different words.”
Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa
Arguing is a part of life and communication. To answer without arguing is the complement to speak without accusing. If more people practiced these two aspects, more thought would go into conversation and miscommunication would happen less often. Opening your heart and truly listening to someone, without trying to form a response in your head, is important to good communication. During an argument, people tend to fire back an answer to the person’s accusations. This is an exchange of power. However, normal conversation should not be laden with verbal jabs to the other person. When a couple discusses a problem, and reach a compromise, that problem should be laid to rest. A person should not start a discussion about that problem, unless it truly was unsolved.
Answering without arguing, to me, is being able to let the past lay to rest and assess new problems with fresh eyes. For example, a couple disagrees about the household chores. One is doing more than the other is, so they come to the compromise that they will rotate the responsibilities. After a while, one of them forgets to complete a task, and the other confronts them. The first statement of the accuser is, “This is exactly like before! I knew nothing was going to change!” This will automatically put the other person on the defense and a likely response would be, “Well, I knew that you could never relinquish control! How can I possibly get anything done with you hounding me?!” This whole situation could have turned out differently if the accuser would have answered without arguing. Offering help to the other person, finding out why the person did not complete the chore, or simply reminding the person of their forgotten duties, would have turned the conversation in a completely different direction.
Approaching a problem with a level head and consideration for the other person involved will greatly improve relations between those two people. Being able to move from past problems is not an easy feat. I do believe, however, that moving from the past will ensure a healthy future. A person must attempt to progress in their relationship without harboring ill will toward past indiscretions, and communicating as such. This will open doors to a new level of respect and intimacy.