I see otherwise loving people wounding each other, because they don’t know how to argue. An arguement can be a constructive instrument if it’s conducted in the right frame mind. We will always disagree about things: that’s just human. How can we do it without destroying a relationship?
A few hints that might help:
1. One of you doesn’t need to be right and the other wrong, just because you disagree. What’s right for one isn’t necessarily right for all: there are very few (if any) absolute truths.
2. Try to avoid words that show him/her to be wrong and seek the common ground. You may be argueing about details or a difference of emphasis.
3. Try to separate the issue from the person. Don’t let an arguement get personal, if you can help it.
4. If things get heated, suggest a cooling off period and a reconvene. This could also be used to investigate any “facts” that are in dispute. DO NOT lose your temper.
5. Listen! If things are getting edgy, try to hear the message behind the hurt.
6. Try not to be judgemental. There’s a reason for everything (not always a good one, I grant you) and so there’s a reason for him/her taking the position she/he has.
7. Try to avoid thinking about winning and losing. Focus instead on trying to find the best solution for all. This can be very difficult but seek help from your arguee if you can. Ask for a vision of what perfection would look like.
8. They say you should never go to bed on an arguement. I’d challenge this. I think sleeping on things can help you cool down and get perspective. Whatever works for you is best.
9. Ask yourself “how important is it? can we agree to disagree without significant legacy?”
10. Last, but not least, ask yourself “is it worth the upset I will cause if I continue to hold my position?” Seriously consider capitulation.