2 contradictory things about me: I can’t back away from an argument, but I’m an anxious, nervous wreck while I’m in one. I’m like a twitchy terrier gnawing on a slipper. I am trying to learn how to disengage from a conflict that has no value to me, win or lose.
I know, I know, you’re assuming these arguments are husband-wife feuds, but it could not be further from the truth. We do a pretty good job at talking things through and keeping things cool and level here. Yes, there are the rare boil over moments, but I suspect these are unavoidable side-effects to living with any human being, and we recover from these ‘I’m angry and I HAVE NO REASON TO BE’ episodes pretty well.
In fact, the wife is a part of my new fighting strategy. Like the sensible wingman who talks you out of taking a run at that big scary dude who stepped on your foot at the bar, she’s going to tell me ‘it’s not worth it, just leave it’ when I’m heading into a stupid fight. And, I will try very hard to hear her words and hopefully snap out of my compulsive combativeness.
The need to argue until the other person agrees that I’m right is fueled by self-confidence issues. Your faith in yourself is such a primary building block of social interaction that it affects all of your relationships. You fight extra hard to defend your opinion when deep down you don’t fully trust it. So being okay with other people being wrong and not listening to me is another step to take.
Also, I am compiling a list of people who it is never productive to argue with. So far I have:
1. My mother. ‘Nuff said.
2.Pregnant ladies. Arguing with them is a no-win scenario. No matter how wrong they might be, everyone hates the asshole arguing with the pregnant lady. Plus, they are in the middle of the most complicated biological event a human can have, so I will give them a free pass from now on.
If anyone else makes my ‘no argue’ list, I’ll be sure to let you know.