I know several, “I don’t argue” people. I thought these were the exceptions but more and more, readers have mentioned being frustrated with people in their lives who refuse to discuss issues and never hear what the other party is saying.
For all of you who refuse to discuss issues, who think they already know what the other person is going to say, or simply don’t like being uncomfy having a tough talk, refusing to argue does not make you enlightened or superior, it makes you a controlling bitch. Stop it. No one likes it and it makes you look like a prick.
There are going to be disagreements in life and people are not always going to share your views or feelings. It would be pretty boring if this were not the case. If this person is important to you or in the case of co-parenting, important to your kids and a general fixture in your life whether you like it or not (because suck it up, you slept with them), you are required as an adult to deal with issues and work through them even when it isn’t fun. Life’s tough and it doesn’t get any easier. Do it anyway.
For the person trying to discuss and being shot down by, “I’m more enlightened than you and do not lower myself by ever getting upset about anything”, (hear, “it makes my tummy hurt and I don’t want you having the satisfaction of knowing I’m upset too because I’m an emotional 12-year-old”), there are ways to deal with this.
- Remember that people who “don’t fight”, are actually controlling. This type of control is hard to identify but if you know what to look for, it’s there. Control monsters have learned they can actually hurt and control sometimes, by doing nothing. Sometimes it can be by simply ignoring you to let you know how unimportant your existence is to them (but what they really are, is threatened). Other times, they make comments, stir up shit, and then fade into the crowd leaving you pissed off, issues unresolved, and then they get the satisfaction of you coming to them to resolve it. If you can identify this, it will go a long way in preserving your sanity.
- Write it out. When a topic is sensitive and you are afraid a discussion will be too heated or the other party is ignoring you, this gives you the opportunity to get your thoughts and feelings out in total without the other person inflaming you further. Additionally, this gives you the added benefit of not having to keeping playing out this argument in the shower and in the mirror while getting ready for work because the asshole won’t talk to you about it. Not looking like a mental patient is always positive. They may not read it but at least you get to say what you need to say and hope that some tiny piece may have been understood. If it is about your kids, sometimes even if you want to let it go, it still has to be said because these are your children and it’s your job.
- Let it go when you can. I am definitely NOT a proponent of talking out every issue. This will drive everyone crazy because moods change and chances are it wasn’t that big of a deal. If this issue is not a safety concern or threatening to end your relationship (whatever that may be), try to let it go. If this is your ex, you are not a couple for a reason and you are not going to agree. If this is anyone else, they have no power over you. Let them go on feeling superior, who gives a shit? The answer is no one, because 9 times out of 10, the person who does this has a constant stream of friends and/or romantic partners that come and go because they can only be tolerated in small doses and since they don’t work through issues like an adult, long-term relationships are all but impossible with this person.
- Drink wine and say “fuck ’em”. You are trying to keep your head above water like everyone else and their immature version of communication or lack there of, is always going to be a much bigger problem for them than it is for you.
I know this is frustrating and dealing with these people makes you want to pull your hair out but don’t. If they ever want to be an adult and talk, you’ll want to look your best.