How To Argue With Compassion

How To Argue With Compassion

How to argue with HEART: Discussions of compassion, loving intent, patience and communication.


Not all arguments have to be nasty. Actually, most arguments and difficult discussions can be resolved super easily.

A lot of people get defensive when people start disagreeing with them, which leads to hurt feelings and miscommunication. It is easy to get frustrated and push back with annoyance and defense. When you are arguing with someone you love, take a second and remember the most important detail of the argument: you love them more than what you're arguing about. Even if you think your point is the most important, the person you're arguing with is more important. Disagree with kindness and approach someone with the amount of love you have for them.

Differences among people come and go, but those people will stay in your life if you handle disagreements the correct way. "No matter how much someone cares for you or loves you if you speak to them in any way other than with kindness and civility, you will not be listened to," says Leslie Shore to Bustle magazine. No one wants to hear themselves get chewed out, especially if they disagree with what you're saying. At some point, the arguments can escalate to levels beyond the reasonable. Arguments morph from "Who should talk out the trash" to "Your grandmother ruined Christmas in 2007..." just because people try to "one-up" each other. It happens to everyone. It goes against our very DNA to argue with kindness. Every faith or ideology points out various ways to argue with kindness because they all know that it is virtually impossible for us. I am the first person to say that I cannot argue well. I get defensive, angry, loud, and forceful, but I never look back on a poorly constructed argument and feel any resolve. There are loose ends that will remain un-tied because of the shared anger toward the subject.

In the definition of argument, it says "an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one," but why do we have to typically disagree in an angry way? Literally everyone disagrees about various things. Differences and disagreements are what make the human population unique. If everyone thought the way you or I did, we'd be in deep trouble. Argue with HEART.

Hear me and understand me.

Hear what the other person has to say about the subject. Don't talk right over them because they might say something you had not thought about before. This works for both sides though. If you feel like you aren't being listened to, just communicate that after the other people you are talking with are finished.

Even if you disagree, please don't make me wrong.

You are not the smartest person in the room. Even when you know you are correct, don't discount the other person's point just because you think you are correct. Chances are, the other person believes they are right, too. They are trying to tell you what they believe is true.

Acknowledge the greatness within me.

The person you are speaking with, whether a loved one or stranger, is still a human. They have the knowledge you do not. They are just as special and important as anyone else, no matter how much you disagree.

Remember my loving intentions.

Most of the time, people argue about the things they care about. Unless they are just arguing to hear themselves speak (which you still need to respect), then they actually care about the things you're disagreeing about. If your roommate and you are disagreeing about something, ask her intentions. Somewhere deep down, there is always love underneath it all. In a lot of cases, people begin arguing because someone makes a comment regarding another person and it is out of some version of love. Even if they say it the wrong way, it is out of love.

Tell me truth with compassion.

Explain your version of the truth with room for more discussion. Tell your side while still being open to what they have to say. Be careful and speak without accusation. It is an open discussion and the moment you close the discussion because you think you're right, the argument will escalate into things you do not want.


Continue these steps until your discussion is over. Even when you feel like its futile or takes too long, remember how much that person means to you. The healing time after a bad argument is much longer than the time it takes to talk it out. Not only are these steps difficult, they are impossible to complete perfectly the first (1,000) times. Even when you are blindingly angry and all you want to do is just go off and scream at the other person, take a moment and breath, even when you want to be right more than anything in the world. We just have to keep asking for forgiveness and practice compassion and understanding until we can argue with the love the other person deserves. In the end, it is worth it and maybe we'll even learn something new.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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