THE BLOG

The Root of All Arguments

29/05/2013 11:59 BST | Updated 28/07/2013 10:12 BST

So, the other day I'm out having a beer with a friend of mine. We're talking, joking, having a great time and then all of a sudden we overhear a disagreement about god knows what at the table next to us. The disagreement then took a left turn at argument and I remember the couple leaving and one of them saying "Why can't you just see things the way I do" to which the other replied "Don't you know how wrong you are?"

This got me thinking as things usually do. It comes with the territory of being a writer. The funny thing about this whole experience was that the reason they were having this argument wasn't because they had disagreed with each other. That's normal. I'd even go so far as to say that it's healthy and necessary to disagree. However, they stopped disagreeing with each other when they stopped listening to each other. Instead they began arguing because of what I now like to call the "Winner Syndrome." The "Winner Syndrome" or "winnering" is the process of trying to convince someone that your point of view is more valid then his or her's. It completely stops communication because you aren't listening to the other person's side when you're "winnering," you're basically telling them that their not as smart, important, or as worthy of a voice. This makes the other person's back go up and they stop listening to you as well. They start defending themselves because they feel like their being attacked. The end result, no one goes away satisfied or better off, both people are angry, and no one is closer to understanding anything, especially not each other.

Don't get me wrong, it takes two people to have a successful "my dad's better then your dad" fest, and it isn't easy to drop the programming that their has to be a clear winner and loser when in an argument. However, if we put effort into letting go of that aggressive need to be right and listen to the other person, we will find that potential arguments can often become really interesting conversations. We could even get a better understanding of the person we're talking to, and they will most definitely get to see the real you if you take off your suit of armor and communicate.

Without open communication, relationships don't move forward, they don't grow and neither person sees more then their own ideals which, when unchecked, can be a set of blinders. Without communication, without different things we can explain to each other, the world is a very lonely, boring place. So listen, you never know what you're going to hear.