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How To Have Better Arguments

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

This week we’re going to be touching on a new skill we learnt recently which has improved the way in which we argue!

As you all know from last week's reminder, we recently did a 5 day online challenge with Tony Robbins. The 4th day was relationship day and the two hours we had with Tony and his wife went through multiple different ways we can work on, develop and grow the relationships in our life.

Now, whilst they mainly focused on intimate relationships, the tip we learnt and are about to share with you is one that can be used with friends and family as well as your intimate relationships, so listen up if you’re wanting to know how to communicate better!

If you find yourself in a disagreement where you feel like both parties are going around in a circle trying to argue their points and it's really going nowhere, we’re here to help.

This communication tool is called S.E.W which stands for Sensation, Emotion and What you want. The reason we’re wanting to develop this communication tool is because if done correctly it removes criticism and blame from the argument, therefore defusing defensiveness which will make for a more productive and calm argument. So now that you know WHY this is an important skill to have, let's go through what all three mean and then give you an example of how to do it!

Scenario: Ben and Harry have been arguing for 20minutes about Harry always forgetting to take out the bins. They realise they were caught in an argument loop and decide that they’re going to use the S.E.W method to move through this argument more effectively.

Both individuals will need to take turns S.E.W (ing) whilst expressing it to their partner.

Sensation: Feel into your body and describe the sensations within it and where you’re feeling it.

  • “There is tension in my stomach that comes up through my shoulder blades”

  • “There is pressure weighing on my chest and tightness in my throat”

  • “There is a tightness in between my eyes and a hollowness in my chest”

Emotion: Describe what emotions you’re feeling. It’s best to only stick to the core emotions so that things don’t get lost in interpretation or translation. These emotions include: mad, sad, fearful and glad. Things like frustration can be brought back to mad, relief can be brought back to glad, upset can be brought back to sad etc. etc!

  • “I am feeling mad”

  • “I am feeling sad”

  • “I am feeling fearful”

What You Want: Lastly, we want to describe what we want. Try to do this without criticising the other person. You can do this by only speaking about what YOU want and NOT what you would like the other person to do.

  • “I want to live in a clean environment”

  • “I want to be heard and respected”

  • “I want to enjoy living with you”

You will notice that by using this method, it will take judgement, blame and criticism out of the argument and each party gets a chance to express themselves. It’s important that you continue to nurture and strengthen your relationship outside of arguments so that you want to create a safe, respected space together even when emotions are high. We’re going to be putting this to practise ourselves. Don’t worry about getting it right or perfect the first few times, the important thing is that you try. Good luck team!

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