HOW TO DEFEND YOURSELF IN AN ARGUMENT

We all get yelled at from time to time. When it happens to you, seemingly from left of field, it can be hard not to snap back automatically.

Try hard to listen to what is being said to you, without interruption. Bristling with anger yourself and reacting badly could escalate the problem. Look for logic. Does your verbal attacker have a point? Is there something that you have done, even unwittingly, that might have caused upset? In which case, a quick and sincere apology normally works better than an attempt to justify your actions.

You may be facing a serial fight-picker desiring your reaction, even to the point of wanting your negative attention. If you react defensively to their opening complaint, the attacker is unlikely to back down – they’ll continue with a long list of other related ‘sins’ you have committed. Try responding in a way that doesn’t allow them to carry on picking a fight.

Here are a couple of examples with different strategies to try.

‘Why don’t you make more of an effort about your appearance?’

Tell a long, rambling story so they lose interest, that begins something like this, ‘That could be because of an incident that happened a long time back. One day. ’

‘Why can I never find my phone? What have you done with it?’

Respond with a neutral statement such as, ‘It can be very annoying when you can’t find things.’ You may need to keep going with similar variations before your attacker runs out of steam

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