How to Diffuse an Argument

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htdaathumbRecently I was helped and stimulated by an article a friend brought to my attention on the blog site of Paul Tautges, entitled “Counseling One Another.”

One of the things you’ll notice below as you read this article is that Paul in turn was stimulated by something he had read elsewhere. So, read this and digest it, thankful for the reality that God allows us to network with and benefit from the ministries of others that strengthen our hands for the task before us.

If, like me, you are striving to grow in grace as a godly husband then you will be helped by more counsel from Lou Priolo’s helpful book, The Complete Husband: A Practical Guide to Biblical Husbanding. Priolo writes: “Listed below are some transition sentences that may help you when you’re attempting to resolve conflicts with your wife. The list may be personalized according to the need of the moment (Eph 4:29).”

  1. “I really appreciate your concern about this.”
  2. “Thank you for being interested in this problem.”
  3. “I’m glad you are concerned about this.”
  4. “Am I hearing you correctly?”
  5. “Am I hearing you right? Is this what you are saying?”
  6. “Would you repeat that please?”
  7. “Could you repeat that in a different way?”
  8. “I see this is important to you; therefore, it is to me.”
  9. “Let me think about that for a minute.”
  10. “Thank you for taking time to share this with me.”
  11. “Do you have any suggestions as to what I could do to improve in this area?”
  12. “Did I hear you say it upsets you when I ______________. Thank you for telling me.”
  13. “Are you saying that you want me to discuss these kinds of issues with you before I make a decision?” (Be thankful!)
  14. “How could I do (have done) that differently?”
  15. “What, exactly, is it you see that I’m doing or saying wrong?”
  16. “I wasn’t clearly seeing that.”
  17. “Thank you for bringing that to my attention.”
  18. “I’m glad you pointed that out to me.”
  19. “When did that happen? I wasn’t aware of that.” (Be careful about the use of this statement; be sure that it is true before you use it!)
  20. “I see that’s important to you, so I’ll make it a point to be more aware of it in the future.”

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1).

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