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Arguing destroys relationships

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Why is arguing so damaging to a relationship? Arguing employs destructive tactics to get its own way. After all, that is what arguing is all about. It tries to force and impose its will over another. To do this it must attack the opposition. This is accomplished by trying to destroy the credibility of the opposing side. Arguing will parade a long list of past failures and mistakes to show that its side is better.

These attacks are usually directed at the other person’s identity and diminish their value. This is where the damage to the relationship occurs. The person being attacked now feels threatened. In defense they will begin to launch a personal assault against their attacker. Now you have two people who are defining each other by each other’s weakness and failures. Now both feel hurt, and both do not feel safe.

The pain from arguing causes both sides to pull away from each other. They see the other person as the source of their pain. They now begin to see the other person in a different light. They begin to focus on all the negative things about them. This reinforces that the other person is in fact the enemy. The next argument is even bigger and more hurtful. They have had time to think about just how bad the other person is.

If left unchecked the destructive forces that accompany arguing will destroy a relationship.