How To Win An Argument

Ah love. When it first strikes the object of our affection it is so wonderful. You could sit and listen to them prattle away for hours and hours. Nothing made you happier. But sooner or later that phase of love ends, and from time to time that wonderful person whom you love just needs to shut up because everything they say and think is wrong.

We all argue that is natural. But what isn’t natural is losing. No one wants to lose an argument. If you take these steps to heart I promise that you will greatly increase your chances of winning your next argument.

How To Win An Argument

1. Make It Personal

If you keep the argument to the problem at hand, taking turns bringing up point and counterpoint, you run the risk of losing. It is possible that your point is the weaker of the two. Therefore don’t argue about ‘facts’ or ‘issues’. Make the argument personal. The problem isn’t that they arrived late. The problem is that they are inconsiderate about your wants and needs. Likewise the problem isn’t about them leaving their socks on the floor. The problem is they don’t care about you. Remember they might have good reasons for being late or leaving their socks on the floor, but they can never have good reasons for denying your needs and being uncaring.

2. Hold On To Some Extra Ammunition 

When you are arguing, your goal is to build a rock solid case that they are at fault. That can be tricky when you deal with specifics. For example; after a long day it might be perfectly reasonable that they forgot to stop at the store and pick up milk like you asked. So instead of focusing on the traffic, the phone call they got before they left, or the big project they are working on, focus on all of the previous times in your relationship that you asked them to do something and they let you down. Remind them of the time they forgot to wake you up earlier like you asked them to, and that time they canceled plans because someone in their office came down with the flu, and that time when you tried to call them to get a lift but you couldn’t get a hold of them. If you can’t think of enough examples you may want to toss around the words ‘always’ and ‘never’ a lot. As in you always forget to do what I ask, and you never listen to me when I ask you to do something.

3. Fight The Long Quiet Fight

Sometimes you can win an argument by yelling. But the better strategy is to settle in for a long quiet fight. During this type of fight you want to answer questions as curt and abrupt as possible. Likewise you may want to engage in some exaggerated behaviour such as turning the pages of a book with extra force, scrubbing pots and pans vigorously, closing cupboards louder than normal and so on. This is also an excellent time to channel your inner teenage girl and scoff and roll your eyes after they do or say anything.

4. Wait For The Right Moment

I find anger comes in three stages; first you start of really angry or annoyed. Second you think about it for a while and you calm down enough to the point where you could probably see their side of things. And lastly you stew silently about it until you are ready to explode. You stand your best chances of winning the argument if you bring up your concern during stage one or three. You are just too soft and reasonable during stage two to guarantee a win.

5.Don’t Admit Error Or Fault

One of the sure signs that you will lose an argument is your willingness to admit you might be partly at fault too. Once you stop and think of the mistakes that you made, it is much, much harder to see the other person as totally in the wrong. You have to be steadfast in your confidence. They are the one at fault, they are the one who made the mistake and you are simply the victim of their thoughtlessness.

One Final Note

These tips will help you to win arguments. But I feel it is important to warn you that no one like to lose all the time. If you follow these tips too often, or too well you may will win too many arguments. If that happens your partner now seeing how thoughtless, mean, inconsiderate they so often are may decide to pick up their marbles and go home. Which depending on your goals may be your ultimate victory, or your greatest defeat.

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5 Kids Things I Appreciate More Now That I Am An Adult

There are a lot of great things about being a kid. And there are a lot of great things about being an adult. Most of them are different. But there are some things that are part of both worlds. A few of these kids things have become better now that I am an adult. Here are 5 kid things I appreciate more now that I am an adult;

1.Naps- I might as well start us off with the obvious. I am sure like most kids I fought taking naps. When you are a kid you don’t want to stop all of the awesome things you are doing to nap. You want to keep playing with toys and games and being nutty. But boy oh boy now that I am an adult with three kiddlets waking me up all hours of the night, and brighten and early in the morning are there ever days where I would love to take one of those two hour naps I refused.

2. Mr Rogers- When I was a kid I enjoyed Mr Rogers like many other people. I liked the sweater vests, taking his shoes off to put his slippers on, the trolley and his gentle singing voice. But as an adult I have learned that Fred Rogers was an ordained Christian minister. Without even saying the words ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’ he taught generations of children about the importance of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Also thanks to him I now know when something bad happens in the world I should tell my kids to look for the helpers. I hope I can be half the pastor Mr Rogers was.

3. Disney and Pixar Movies- I believe that everyone should watch cartoons. I think they keep people young and fun. I loved Disney and Pixar movies when I was a kid. Now that I am rewatching them with my children I see them in a whole new light. There were jokes I didn’t get, like when Buzz Lightyear got drunk on tea. And there were phrases I didn’t understand, did you know that Ursula called Ariel ‘The little tramp’? If you have not watched your favorite Disney and Pixar movies since you were a kid you need too. 

4. Christmas Morning- If you ask her my mother will tell you all about the Christmas Eves I couldn’t sleep, and the ‘rip, tear and destroy’ mornings. I thought being a kid on Christmas morning was the height of joy, but I was wrong. As an adult I get to enjoy my gifts, enjoy watching my children go crazy over their gifts, and I get to drink in all the family togetherness to boot. Being a kid on Christmas morning was fun, as as adult I found it joyful.

5. Optimus Prime- As a kid I was a big transformers fan. That has not changed in my adult years. When I was a kid I thought; ‘Big robots that turn into vehicles and fought each other, cool!‘ As an adult when I watch the G1 cartoon, the new movies and the newest cartoon I see a leader struggling to stay moral, lead a group of people with very different personalities, all the while trying to accomplish a seemingly impossible goal. These are all skills I hope I will continue to develop. Of course I also get to enjoy big robots turning into awesome vehicles that fight each other, some things don’t change.  

That is my list, what about you have you found a kid thing that you appreciate more now that you are an adult?

Kid Me

I am adorable, don’t you think so?

How To Survive The September Rush

Now that it is firmly September I bet you are feeling it. The Summer has drifted away and your Fall activity planning is in full swing. Today is our first day back on a full school/day care/work routine but Fall is hardly done with us. Soon our evening activities will begin to launch. I am watching my September calendar crowd with the busyness I gladly tucked away during the Summer. I can’t help but wonder, How will I Survive the September rush?

If you are in the same boat as me don’t worry! After careful reflection I have a 4 step plan that will guarantee your survival of September, and maybe just maybe it can help you move to thriving in September.

Step 1- Accept that you have to layer. This morning I woke up and it was 7c outside (about 46F). By the afternoon it is supposed to make it to 19c (about 66F). I have a choice. Either I can be a tough guy and only dress for the heat or the cold and simply be uncomfortable for the rest of the day. OR I can bite the extra laundry bullet and layer. Everyone of us today is setup for have a mid afternoon wardrobe change. I am trying to convince myself that pretty much makes us movie stars.

Step 2- Look at all your old Fall pictures. Last Fall you darted around going a mile a minute to every activity and group you signed up for. You were tired, cranky and ran on pumpkin spiced lattes. But remember that one day where you finally stopped and took some nice family Fall pictures? If you stare at them hard enough and for long enough you can probably convince yourself that last Fall wasn’t ‘busy’ it was filled with fun family activities that created lasting memories.

This Photo Is From October 2012, September Was Too Busy For Pictures

This Photo Is From October 2012, September Was Too Busy For Pictures

Step 3- Try to focus on only one unrealistic dream per child. We all have dreams for our children. Some of us wish that they will find activities that they enjoy and help them discover that they want out of life. Others of us imagine our children striking it big in the athletic world netting giant salaries and world wide fame. That is fine but if you are going to harbour these wild and fairly unrealistic dreams try to focus in on one activity. I mean even the great Michael Jordan discovered he couldn’t play both basketball AND baseball at a professional level. Your little Jimmy or Janie won’t likely be any different.

Step 4- Say ‘NOOOOOOOO!’ to that ‘one more’ thing. Like us you only have 7 days or 168 hours to work with. That is it, there is no more time in the week, period. You have to balance work, school, your children’s activities, your own social activities, downtime, time to be together as a couple, and oh so much more. The most important thing to come to terms with right now is, there will always be more activities you could do than you have time to do them. Always. When you lose sight of this principle you start to sneak in a lot of ‘just one more things’ into your week likely to your detriment.There comes a time when enough is enough and you have to look at that ‘one more thing’ and just say firmly and boldly ‘NOOOOOOOOO we won’t sign up!’

Bonus Parenting Principle- One last thing. In my line of work being busy and exhausted seems to be a badge of honour to wear instead of a problem to be worked on. I don’t buy that. I think rest and play are too important to be systematically discarded every week. A lot of families seem to operate with that same mentality. It is like people believe if they don’t fill every moment of every day with some kind of activity, program, sport or class that they are somehow losing at parenting. Being exhausted and too busy for a cup of tea should not be the goal you aim for, it should be the problem you fix.

Happy September!