“Every relationship is like a garden and every garden has weeds. Arguments are the little weeds of our relationship that grow up around the things we intentionally plant. Some arguments don’t seem so bad and are easy to work around whenever they pop up. Others are ugly enough that you go nuclear on them. That patch of land is abandoned as scorched earth for a couple of years. Either way, the weeds always come back as reliably as the days and the seasons despite our attempt to get rid of them once and for all. This is true of the arguments we have but also the arguments we don’t have. Arguments don’t end because they have long, long roots.” – Buster Benson, Why Are We Yelling? The Art of Productive Disagreement
I just started a new book by Buster Benson, “Why Are We Yelling? The Art of Productive Disagreement.” I am just starting this and I am already struck by the power of disagreements and how in our minds we think we can rid our lives of all disagreement in our relationships, in the workplace, with our family members, but the truth is, that is impossible. The only mind (and behavior) we can change is our own.
When we get in an argument, we get stuck in a pattern of attempting to persuade someone to change their mind or through manipulation we attempt to force someone to do something differently. Both of those approaches don’t work out and then our efforts backfire making that other person more entrenched in their thinking.
I am excited to learn more on this tricky topic to improve my own communication and to improve my relationships.
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