Some people love arguing just for the sake of arguing. They argue about politics, celebrities, the stock exchange, family, friends, work matters, parenting and gender relations. Whatever comes up.
I hate arguing. What's the point really? Changing other people's views? Not interested. Changing my own views on things important to me and close to my heart? I doubt that an argument over a cup of coffee will be able to achieve this. Arguing as pastime? Well, I prefer not to argue if I can't change things, for example in politics. It's just wasting my energy which I could spend on things that I can change.
Arguing is bad enough for me but it gets even worse when people, usually the closest to me, start arguing with me about my life: my decisions, my situations, my choices, my relationships. Well, like I said - my life.
Here's my list of five things to consider when you feel other people are arguing with you about your life.
First and foremost, never ever fall into the trap of logic. Well, logic is sometimes useful. However, it's not so useful if people present you with logical arguments and expect you to counter-act with some more logical arguments. Particularly when the argument is about your life. And if you can’t present some logical arguments back to them, they say ‘you see? we’re right! that’s why you should do as we said’.
Instead of falling into this trap of defending your choices by exchanging logical arguments, just consider:
1. You’re the only person who knows exactly why you’re in this situation, and what you want.
You actually know why you're in this situation and why you've made this choice. Even if you don’t admit this to yourself. No matter how smart, knowledgeable, caring and loving other people are, they simply don’t know your situation as well as you do.
2. All people are different and see life (and your situation) through different perspectives.
It’s useful to consider their perspectives because you may then find a solution that you haven’t considered before. Yet, it’s not useful to follow someone’s advice just because ‘they love you’ and ‘know what’s best for you’.
3. Learn to set your boundaries with people.
If you said ‘thank you for your advice, I’ll consider it’, but they keep pressing you, you have the right to be very assertive about your boundaries. In fact, you have the right not to listen to unsolicited advice.
4. You don’t need to explain your decision to anyone.
You’ve listened in a respectful way and that’s it. From there, it’s your life, your decision, your responsibility. If you’re wrong about something, you’ll find out. But you need to find out first, so that you know you were wrong. Life is about experimenting to become better. We’re responsible for choosing and shaping our path.
5. Ask yourself why you feel threatened by other people’s arguments (if indeed you feel threatened).
What is it - what kind of insecurity is driving that feeling? Observe that, study your mindset, pay attention to what you think. Find the insecurity behind this feeling and just shed it - act in life as if you don’t have it. Others may think whatever they want, they may say and act however they like, it’s their life and you can’t control everyone around you. They have the right to act the way they do. You have the right not to listen.