Going for the jugular is a term that essentially means being spiteful, hurtful and vindictive with your words. This is usually done when two or more people are in a heated argument. What may start off as a mutual exchange of opposing views escalates into an argument that is no longer focused on the original topic. The goal now is for one or both parties to personally attack the other person. In the end, feelings are hurt, nothing is resolved, and things are now worst off then before the conversation started. A lot of times it even ends in a violent brawl.
In this world of many conflicting views and lifestyles, it’s important that we understand there’s a right way to verbally disagree with someone and a wrong way. Any idea or view that is communicated in a positive and respectful manner will usually be received as such. There will always be exceptions, but if someone is not accepting of your positive vibes and delivery and becomes belligerent, simply stop communication and remove yourself from the situation. No dignified person wants to have conversation with someone who is unable to control their inflated emotions or behavior.
Conflict is essential to growth. Knowing how to effectively communicate and disagree with another person without going for the jugular is the difference between mature and infantile behavior.
One of the quickest ways to dissolve a marriage/relationship is to continuously go for the jugular during disagreements.
“Well, sex with you is boring anyway!”
“My ex cooks way better than you do!”
“My mom never liked you to begin with!”
If you continuously find yourself throwing out hurtful and mean jabs during disagreements, then it’s time that you learn how to deal with disagreements in a way that doesn’t leave you looking like an out of control beast.
How to have a mature argument
1. Focus on the original topic
If you want to truly resolve a conflict or disagreement, you must first learn to stay on topic. Speak logically and don’t allow your emotions to make your case for you. When you get overly emotional, ego also slips in and it becomes more about being right rather than coming to a mutual understanding. Make your point and stick to it.
2. Stay calm
The moment you fly off the handle you’ve already lost credibility. The other party is not going to respect you or anything you have to say after that unless you humble yourself and admit your mistake.
3. State facts and solutions
You should be able to back what you are saying with proof and/or facts. Do not use straw man tactics as that can diminish your credibility as well. For instance:
” I know it was you that took my phone because Amy sent me a picture of you holding it. The home screen was a picture of my cat, Sylvester.”
” I know you took my phone. Everybody knows you have sticky fingers.”
4. Say what you mean
Be sure that you mean exactly what you say. Don’t expect the other person to guess what’s on your mind or how you feel. The only way they will know is when you open your mouth to tell them. If you fail to do so, then at least only be upset with yourself, leave the other person out of it.
5. Listen to what the other person has to say
If you’re not willing to listen and contemplate what the other person is saying, why should you expect for them to do the same for you? Coming to a fair resolution means that both parties need to make an effort to understand where the other person is coming from. You can’t do that if you’re not paying attention to what they’re saying.
6. Be sincere
If you’ve made a mistake somewhere along the way, admit it and be sincere about it. A heartfelt apology will go a long way to show your caring side. More often than not, the person you’re apologizing to will appreciate you taking ownership of your part.
Healthy relationships exist when there’s a mutual respect for one another. Getting upset and saying things that can’t be taken back is not respectful, but hurtful. Even if your intent is to hurt in that moment, there’s a good chance you will regret it later. So, let today be the day that you change the way you disagree with others. You will be so glad that you did!
Do you fight fair? What tips would you add to this list?