How to maintain your confidence in an argument February 13, 2023 – Posted in: Advice, Confidence, Leaders and Teams, Personal Development, Relationships
Conflict can be hard for us all but if you struggle with your confidence it can be excruciatingly difficult to enter into a disagreement. All your fears of rejection (which I made a video about over on my Instagram) and failure will be screaming at you to run BUT conflict is a part of life and we have to learn to deal with it because otherwise we say nothing and get resentful or blow up and damage our relationships with those precious to us.
Despite what you might believe about yourself it really is possible to learn how to have healthy conflict and to see constructive debate as something that refreshes and strengthens your relationships. It takes courage and humility but the results can be life changing for you and your confidence.
So, here are my top tips for maintaining your confidence during an argument.
- Expect to feel uncomfortable.
We are social creatures so don’t beat yourself up for feeling nervous during an argument. However, just because we feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean we should avoid it. Getting comfortable with conflict means practising living through those uncomfortable feelings and acknowledging that if you feel worried the person opposite you is probably feeling the same, despite how well they might be hiding it.
- Remember it’s not a failure to be in an argument – everyone falls out from time to time.
There are 8 billion people on the planet, which means 8 billion different opinions. We are going to fall out with each other. When I first became a mum 19 years ago I was told that the healthiest relationships are rooted in rupture and repair; the assumption being that you will experience rupture in your relationships but the trick is to always seek ways to repair after the rupture has occurred. I was also told that scar tissue is stronger than unbroken skin, which is a great analogy for this rupture/repair concept.
- Change your mindset from, “I have to win this argument,” to, “Let’s get to the truth here so we can both move on.”
The whole point of any disagreement should be to see the truth from both angles so invite the person opposite you to tell you exactly how they see things. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” is extremely wise counsel when it comes to disagreements. If you can park your ego for long enough to hear the other person’s version of the truth you will be amazed at how much easier the conversation becomes.
- With that in mind, start by listening.
Tell the other person that you genuinely want to hear their side of things. Maintain eye contact so that they feel heard. Apologise for anything you need to do.
- Find some common ground with the other person – having just one thing you both agree on will really keep connection and communication alive.
Even if you both agree that the coffee is good or the weather is cold it will build a bridge between the two of you.
- Acknowledge what you’ve heard from them and then ask them to then listen to your point of view. Be brave and speak your truth calmly, sticking to the facts.
- Lastly, when you have both spoken summarise what you feel the disagreement was about and work together to find a resolution.
If you can’t resolve things now agree to both go away, let things rest for a week and speak again when the dust has settled and you’ve both had time to think.
Remember, the two most important qualities you need for an argument are COURAGE and HUMILITY. Having the strength to listen to their truth and speak yours will do wonders for your confidence.
🚨These tips come with a health warning as they DO NOT apply to arguing with a narcissist. Narcissists are unable to argue fairly so if I were you I wouldn’t even bother trying. For the sake of your sanity and confidence walk away.