1 an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one
According to the above definition – and we will concentrate on the most common variety – an argument is a conflict of views or opinions.
In order to be able to dissolve a conflict we must first be able to distinguish between a fact and an opinion or a personal view.
The following are some examples of opinion statements:
This is terrible
You are wrong
You are a jerk, rude, etc.
You are very late
You always do that
You never ______
And here are some fact statements:
It is raining here
I am home
You arrived at 2:40 PM
I am hungry
I think that you ______
The door is open
You said: _____
I did not go to work yesterday
Most of the time conflict arises from thinking that our opinions are facts and our treating them as facts. The problem starts when we start taking actions based on what we perceive as a fact but in reality they are only our opinions.
Often we are blind to the fact that our opinions are just that, and although they may appear as facts to us, they are just “our” truths and not THE truths. The first step in dissolving a conflict of this nature is to start owning our opinions.
As a speaker we can start by modifying the way we make statements:
Instead of saying “This is wrong” you may say I THINK that this is wrong. Instead of saying: “You are wrong”, you may want to ask: “Why do you think that?” Instead of angry become curious.
Opinions are interpretations, judgments and assessments ABOUT what happened. Opinions are generated in our mind.
I have heard many people fight tooth and nail to prove that their opinions are true. And yes, they are true, but only for them and not necessarily for anyone else. Just because some or ALL the people agree with your opinion, it does not make it any more true.