Arguing with a purpose

I hate having to argue with people simply because confrontation makes me uneasy. Some say it’s a weakness, not being able to confront a problem. From my perspective, if it’s possible to resolve conflict without it, I’d rather take that route.

But sometimes you really just need to have confrontation. Either addressing a person or just a set of factors causing a problem.

It gets messy when you’re confronting a loved one. Without realising it, a confrontation leads to an argument.

Why do people argue really? Most of the time they’re disagreeing with something. Sometimes they’re afflicted with a negative emotion. Ultimately people argue because they want to resolve a problem.

As I build stronger ties with the people in my life, I realised that I never want to have to argue with them unless absolutely necessary. Now I know that’s impossible, but at most I choose to take heed of the ancient saying – choose your battles wisely.

I was having some sort of disagreement the other day when I thought to myself, what is the point of my argument?

“I want to reach an understanding?”

“I want the person to change their behaviour?”

“I’m just picking a fight for no reason?”

In that moment, the reason was the third factor; I was just picking a fight for no reason. And I felt quite bad for a moment. I let my emotions get to me. I had a decision – to continue arguing, or to change my approach. I chose the latter.

Even in another situation where the answer was “I want to reach an understanding” or “I want the person to change their behaviour” (perhaps the main reason why many people argue), I do try to reassess on top of those thoughts. There’s a clear purpose, but is an argument the best method to achieve it?

Articles always tell you to ‘fight fairly’ or ‘fight healthily’ in relationships. I do agree, though I would add that one should always have the right intention. If you’re arguing without a purpose, you’re wasting your time. Why argue when you can be having a meaningful conversation instead?

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