Long-term friends and family members are important to everyone. For most people, it feels great knowing that there are people in their lives who will always stick by them – even if they don’t always see eye to eye!
After years and years of knowing someone, you’re bound to disagree on something. This shouldn’t ruin your friendship, but sometimes it can be difficult to disagree with stubborn people without creating tension.
If you can relate to this, here are 4 tips to help you communicate effectively with your stubborn friends and family members.
1. Find Some Common Ground
The more someone disagrees with us, the more stubborn we become. If you want a stubborn person to see where you are coming from, start by finding some common ground. You don’t need to become a pushover and agree with their argument – just put the focus of the conversation on something you will both agree with. For instance, you could say “I know we don’t see eye to eye on this subject, but I hope that we can still go out for food after this conversation. Where do you want to go?” This will help to diffuse the tense situation.
2. Don’t Attack Or Blame
If someone feels backed into a corner, they become emotional and defensive. This means that they are more likely to attack and blame the other person, turning the disagreement into an argument, which is harder to resolve.
Instead of blaming, be honest. For example, instead of saying “You never do anything around the house,” you could say “I did a lot of tidying up last night. I’m really tired now – will you help me tonight?” This will help the other person to see your point, while diffusing the tension.
3. Don’t Focus On Proving Your Point
Sometimes disagreements end up going round and round in circles, because one person is only focused on proving their point. Instead of moving forward, they get sucked in and they won’t stop until the other person sees their point.
Don’t let yourself get caught in this emotional trap. Take a deep breath and focus on communication, rather than blindly proving a point. Ask the other person how they feel, and bring the subject back to the main issue.
4. Try To Listen And Ask Questions
Most arguments are caused because one person can’t see the other person’s perspective. If you want to resolve the issue, you should focus on listening and asking questions so that you can understand the other person’s point. The simple act of you trying to understand them should help them to calm down and relax, so that you can talk honestly and openly without tension.
Do you have any other tips? Let me know with a comment!