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Why We Argue and How to Stop

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Why We Argue and How to Stop

A Therapist’s Guide to Navigating Disagreements, Managing Emotions, and Creating Healthier Relationships


15 min. de leitura
10 Ideias Fundamentais
Áudio & Texto

Sobre o que é?

Before you boil over and the discussion goes up in flames, learn how to lower the heat and turn rage into reason. 

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Have you ever said something in anger you later regretted? Or found yourself ducking a conversation to avoid a fight? Anger can be a relationship killer, but in his thoughtful guide to effective, stress-free communication, longtime therapist Jerry Manney shows you how to turn no-win battles into productive interactions. Manney details the skills and strategies you need to get the most out of tough talks. Although the book’s scope is overly broad and the structure uneven, Manney’s insights and practical advice prove a valuable tool in the quest for better communication.


Set communication goals to avoid getting caught up in bitter arguments.

Why do people argue? Superficially, disagreements may stem from competitiveness or defensiveness, or from an impulse to retaliate or self-validate. More deeply, arguments happen because of a desire to change others’ behavior or attitudes. Individuals raise their voices to persuade or intimidate others to their way of thinking. Or they adopt a defensive strategy to maintain their position and resist change.

To figure out why and how you, specifically, argue requires some self-reflection. Using a journal to identify your pattern of behavior – what triggers you and how you react when triggered – can start you on the path to better communication and improved relations. First, think about significant disagreements you’ve had, and analyze what made you mad and how you responded. Did you feel criticized and judged? Did you retaliate with unkind words? Were you trying to win for the sake of winning? What effect did these arguments have on those relationships? How did they make you feel afterward? After you’ve examined specific disagreements, imagine how you...

About the Author

A longtime mental health professional, Jerry Manney has written numerous articles on family distress, substance abuse and effective communication. He speaks at national conferences and colleges.

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