Friday, March 18, 2011

How To Argue With A Man (And Get More of What You Want)

It's hard to argue with anyone and guarantee a win.  But there are ways to increase your chances of getting what you want if the person you are arguing with is a man, be it your boyfriend or spouse.

It's commonly said that men withdraw and shut out their partners when they are under stress.  That's especially true if the stress comes from arguing with their spouses or girlfriends.  

Now there is a study to prove this is the case.  A study by USC researchers reveal that stressed men looking at angry faces had diminished activity in the areas of the brain responsible for empathy.  In other words, men, under stress, have a hard time understanding others' feelings.

What does that mean for their partners?  Women can't assume their spouse or boyfriend really understands how they are feeling at the time of the argument.  That's hard for women to comprehend, because, according to the same study, women are the polar opposite.  Under stress, women tend to have an increased ability to have empathy and understand another's feelings.

So what's a girl to do?  Is she doomed whenever she gets into an argument with her partner?  There are some steps she can take to increase the likelihood she'll be listened to better.  

(Of course both genders have the obligation to argue in an adult, rational, responsible manner, so men can follow these guidelines too.)

Always argue in a respectful manner.  If the person you are arguing with is your spouse or boyfriend, they are worth the effort.  Remember how much you love your spouse or boyfriend no matter how annoyed you are at the moment by their viewpoint.

Keep your emotions in check.  It sounds silly to say ... you're in an argument, you're angry, you're going to get emotional.  True.  But if you are crying or shouting, it's harder to state your case effectively.  Give your spouse or boyfriend reasons why you believe your opinion is correct.  Back up what you say with cold, hard facts.  You will notice it's easier to stay calm if you do so.  You are so busy thinking about the facts that will persuade him of your point, that you have less time to concentrate on your emotions.

Be proud of how you argue.  Constantly remind yourself to behave in a manner that will make you proud of yourself.

If an agreement or compromise can't be made at the time of the argument, call a time out.  Let each other have some time to de-stress and process what has been said.  When you re-unite, you will probably be better able to understand each other's point of view.

(*NB I am not, nor do I claim to be a certified relationship expert.  Please refer to our disclaimer page.  I am merely stating what works for me and hope, in some small way, it can work for others in order that they may ditch the arguing quicker and get back to flirting.)

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