Like war, every argument has a winner and a loser. And like war, both parties are worse off, with the winner merely being less worse off.
When couples, colleagues or teammates argue, the group as a whole loses. While the winner might feel good, the losers feel a lot worse. Sure, an argument is better than leaving things unspoken and leaving tensions simmering. Sure, sometimes war is necessary and righteous. But in most cases, there is an alternative.
A conversation can also resolve disagreements. You don’t win or lose a conversation – the point is to understand the other parties better. A good conversation improves everybody’s mood and leaves everybody better off.
Several disagreements can be approached both as an argument or a conversation. Can you pause before you jump into your next argument? Could a conversation take its place? If so, what words or tone of voice would you use instead?