Photo by Icons8 on Unsplash
Every single day, we all get involved in trivial arguments that could easily be avoided. Perhaps your partner watches your favorite TV show while you’re still at work. Or maybe you frequently get mad at your siblings because they forget to replace the toilet paper.
We’ve all been there.
But no matter how hard we try to avoid them, arguments never fail to cause friction within our lives. They have become a destructive force within society, often tearing down relationships in a bid to prove one’s intellectual superiority over the other.
Yet what we often forget is that everyone on the planet has differing opinions as a result of their personal experiences. So instead of trying to disagree with somebody else’s thoughts, I believe a better strategy is to deploy empathy to find out how they reached that conclusion in the first place.
Only then can you both have a civilized discussion that is empathetic to the other person’s point of view. The Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, said it best:
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
That’s it. Empathy is all you’ll ever need to avoid arguments in the future.
At first, it may be difficult. You’ll have an inner urge to prove your point, explain why the other person is wrong, and then proceed to continue the day with an inflated ego.
But instead of being complicit in the argument, take a moment to step back and consider how the other person arrived at their current opinion.
My life has massively improved since I began implementing this simple strategy. Every single day feels more optimistic as I am focused solely on strengthening my relationships, instead of tearing them down in an isolated moment of anger. In the words of Seneca: “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.”
Remember that empathy is one of the few superpowers on earth, which very few people can possess.
Use it wisely.