With a recent argumentative discussion with a very dear friend of mine (which ended up to be an unpleasant memory that both of us don’t wish to remember), I think relationships, feelings, and arguments are necessary yet the weirdest aspects of life. Necessary because they make our life worth living with beautiful, special people around us, with whom we share our feelings and argue when we disagree. Of course, “Man is by nature a social animal” as the famous Aristotle quote goes. For a very long time, I thought of myself as antisocial but another friend described me as “picky.” She meant that I’m very choosy when it comes to meeting and interacting with people. And I accept that I love to stay in touch only with fewer people, people who successfully break through my inner shell and with whom I feel comfortable. Many of us do that, don’t we? These few people are the ones who know us well. They become the center of our life. And of course, close relationships may not necessarily prohibit hardships, but do help us to bear those hardships and keep us sane. As relationship grows, so does our feelings and sharing of those feelings.
Feelings define our consciousness about things, people and surroundings we live in. We express our feelings to show our likes and dislikes, and to understand the same about our friends. In the beginning of any relationship, we share a lot and as the time passes, we start thinking that the other person knows us well enough or understands us. Overtime, we start arguing about everything we “disagree” about. Then the arguments change in misunderstanding, and complaints about how could the other person do that or act in a certain way. Now here is when the weirdness of relationships, feelings and arguments come into play.
These aspects are the weirdest because they also make our life miserable too; when we fail to understand each other and the language we speak seems alienated. It happens when we take our relationship for granted, stop or fail to share our thoughts, or an unconscious gesture by a friend confines our thoughts (and we don’t discuss that with the friend) and makes us assume something or react in a way that neither of us has actually intended to do. We tend to forget that human nature changes overtime. What I like, say or do now, might not be in my to-do or likes lists tomorrow. And it never comes to our mind that we haven’t shared our changed likes and dislikes with our friends, which leads to arguments. Even sharing about how we feel about the way our friend is pulling us in to a discussion becomes difficult (especially when both parties involved are very stubborn by nature). Sometimes unconsciously, especially when the other is a weak arguer, we forget that s/he needs time to develop their argument. The weak person gets frustrated & sacarstic, and you know what happens next. The argument, which we started to improve our knowledge might end-up in something unpleasant
Yes, “we argue when we disagree.” This is what I thought, but my friend made me realize that we argue to improve our knowledge, to understand each other, and to help us make better decisions; and that arguments are not just about disagreeing at all. But for the knowledge to improve, we should understand each other’s feelings, thoughts and experiences. Authors of the book “Difficult Conversations” assert that we must understand what’s going on in other’s mind and what kind of experiences have led the other person to act in a certain way. By doing this, the authors argue that we not only develop a better relationship, refrain from feeling bad about our conversation but also we focus on the things that matters the most.
I must thank my friend to make me realize that. I also hope that the next time we argue about something (especially movies), I would keep my mind open enough to understand what you mean. I know being the person I’m that it will be difficult, but definitely not impossible because I know that my friends know how I feel when involved in such arguments. I also hope to become a skilled arguer with their support!