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Arguing Can Lead to Effective Communication

Essay by   •  September 3, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,257 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,229 Views

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Abstract

Engaging in heated debates and discussions with others who opinions, views or beliefs differ from those of your own can often times lead to an argument. In an attempt to engage constructive and effective communication with others, an argument breaks down the barriers to that process, challenging the parties of the discussion to find a common ground where all opinions, views and beliefs can be vetted objectively in an attempt to be heard. The need to be heard by others is often influenced by an individual's desire to persuade the other party to adopt their point of view on a particular subject. When this verbal exchange does not deliver the desired result for one or both of the parties involved, inevitably the communication process is compromised or jeopardized by the lack of understanding by one or more parties.

Arguing Can Lead To Effective Communication

Arguing is an emotionally charged verbal exchange involving an idea, opinion, or point of view about a particular topic between people which can lead to a competitiveness between the parties engaged in the discussion. It is an indication that your communication is not working, which creates a need to find constructive ways in which to resolve differences of opinions without bringing hurt or harm to others. "When you are having an argument with someone, your goal is not to listen and understand. Instead, you use every tactic you can think of -- including distorting what your opponent just said - in order to win the argument." (Tannen, 1998).

However, since arguing is 100% emotional, it clouds our ability to think rationally and communicate in a manner which allows us to be understood. When we are misunderstood, it becomes a challenge to be direct, which leads to confrontation and conflict with others. Our thoughts create our emotions, which directly affect our behavior patterns. When in an adversarial frame of mind, people think irrationally, thus giving life to an argument. The argument breaks down the barrier to effective communication.

How can we change this pattern? Our emotions are housed in the battlefield of the mind. When we change our mindset, we gain control of our thoughts, reshaping our behavior patterns, and begin the process of communication. Communication leads to the understanding of others views, opinions, values, and belief systems in a way that fosters effective communication and an equally respected relationship. Effective communication builds trust.

As our words are image creators, when we speak in a less than receptive manner with others without any regard or attempt to understand what they are saying, or their basis for saying it, we are conveying a total lack of regard for communicating as a whole in an attempt to demean or distort the other person's point of view.

Those who disagree that arguing can lead to effective communication assert that arguing leads to verbal fights of all kinds ranging from a variety of debatable subjects; creates recurring problems which often become more exaggerated each time the discussions are re-visited creating communication disasters; prevents two people from understanding the other's point of view; are almost never friendly nor do they have good endings for those involved; and are often caused because of automatic behavior patterns that lead to problems associated with an inability to communicate effectively.

Others claim that arguing is a learned behavior. If you grew up in an environment where there was a lot of arguing there is a likelihood that you also became an adult who consciously or unconsciously adopted the behavior pattern. While many believe that arguing stems from social or emotional expectations of others, and the myths associated with those unrealistic expectations, just as we learn to argue, we can learn just as aggressively and effectively to communicate with others.

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