Discussions are Always Better than Arguments

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Discussions are always better than arguments, because an argument is to find out who is right, and a discussion is to find what is right.

“An argument tries to prove who is right whereas a discussion tries to prove what is right,” according to an adage. However, it’s human nature to hold one’s opinion so dear that when a person questions it, we tend to get emotional and defensive. Why? Because our beliefs are part of our identity, and to be proven wrong is like a slap in the face-that is if we’re the vulnerable, close-minded type.

Not only is arguing counterproductive in ironing out differences, it’s also harmful to one’s health especially in women. Researchers from Ohio State University’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research reached a conclusion that marital arguments alter a woman’s hormone levels, weakening her immune system in the process. They looked specifically at epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol, as well as ACTH, growth hormone and prolactin. Blood analysis showed that those hormone levels rose among women who reacted negatively to their husbands’ withdrawal during the arguments. The more the man withdraws, the greater the hormone levels rise. “If the levels stay up long enough, it can have immune responses,” explained the professor of medical microbiology and immunology, Ronald Glaser.

Julia Galef, president of the Center For Applied Rationaliy, suggests that a mental shift is needed to remain fair minded and objective in arguments. Instead of thinking about the argument as a battle in which one must win, think of it as a partnership in which the goal is to figure out the right answer or the solution to a problem. This will save your relationship and your health. 😉


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