IN any relationship, there’s bound to be conflicts no matter how much we try to avoid them. In the workplace, a stressed colleague may unintentionally hurt our feeling. Back home, an angry outburst may severely reverse all the good work we’ve done to nurture a loving family.
When conflicts happen, both parties usually try to justify their stand and protect their position. But is it worth it? Which is better — losing a battle or winning a war? I came across an anonymous quote over social media recently about the danger of losing even if we win an argument. It went something like this:
You may have won an argument with a client, but eventually he’ll stay away;
You may have won a debate with a colleague, but the teamwork will be affected;
You may even defeat your boss, but your future will be bleak;
You may win with your friends, but they may not want to be around you anymore;
You may overcome your spouse, but he/she may love you less.
It went on to suggest that there was no point in winning such arguments because both parties would end up losing. What may appear to be a victory for you may inflate your ego but at the expense of the other party’s dignity. Things may never be the same again.
In her song Kill ‘Em With Kindness, Selena Gomez sang these words: “You’re willing to fight, to be right; your lies are bullets, your mouth’s a gun, and no war in anger, was ever won.”
What a positive song. It reminds us that taking the negative way to prove our point we should stay on the positive side, giving more and more goodness and kindness despite the challenges that come our way.
WINNING ISN’T EVERYTHING
The same is also true in our life as a family. There will surely be plenty of arguments and disagreements between couples themselves and among the children. In some severe cases, abusive words or even insults will be freely thrown. In a moment of rage, love will be carelessly forgotten and hearts, unnecessarily broken. Gaps between family members will widen and happiness will be gone.
As such, we must always remind ourselves not to fall into that trap. Yes, it’s satisfying to win an argument and ravage the other side, but we must understand that ultimately, we’re also a loser. A better strategy is to ensure that our hearts remain healthy and strong always. Just like a healthy skin will not feel the pain when water runs through it, a healthy heart will not be easily upset when things don’t go its way.
Instead, it will still have the strength to “kill ‘em” with kind gestures. For example, when the wife is nagging, a husband can just listen, smile and hold her hand. Once she’s done, he can say, “I love you too,” because she’s probably just nagging to get his attention.
Let’s try to make this a habit. Can you now imagine the possibilities and happiness when we liberate ourselves from the need to win an argument?
Zaid Mohamad coaches and trains parents to experience happier homes and more productive
workplaces. Reach him at email@example.com.