What do you want to see more of in your relationships with others?
Start by bringing awareness to instances of arguing or defensiveness.
The attachment to our own ideas, beliefs or point of view shuts us off from really hearing or relating to others.
When you find yourself in an argument or becoming defensive, ask yourself where your attachment lies. (This can also be done in retrospect.)
Is it the idea that you are right?
Do you think you know what’s best for the other person?
Are you taking on another’s responsibilities? Feeling their outrage for them?
Is it the way your were raised?
Is it “just the way things are”?
Arguing with the person, defending yourself, or making another person feel that they are somehow wrong will not change them or their minds. Conflict does not encourage cooperation.
Once you’ve found your attachment, observe it, then let it go.
Remind yourself to listen to the other person. Find a validity in their point of view or belief. Agree where you can. Find any sliver of common ground between you and them. This will give you the power to open up and relate.
The goal is not to make the other wrong. The goal is to get along.
You cannot change those around you. You can only lead by example.
You must be the change you wish to see.