How to Turn a Toxic Disagreement into a Good One
Updated: May 23, 2022
Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash
Disagreements come in all shapes and sizes. We all have them. Some run wilder than others, many have long and arduous explanations attached, yet others are direct and to the point.
At times, if not produced in a controlled manner, disagreements can sprout a vast array of intense emotions. As these emotions escalate, anger ensues, hurt permeates to the soul, words are spoken hastily, and self-esteem can deflate as the air in the room becomes thick and toxic in nature.
We have all experienced this in our lives. Some have been worse than others, with life-lasting effects. There are tools that I can provide you with that can help you to dissipate disagreements or arguments before they become toxic, but I can’t guarantee you will never have one again. I can, with all certainly, assure you that if you have breath, then you have not had your last one.
Disagreements are not bad in themselves. Our feelings and thoughts are valid. We should be able to produce, freely, a healthy and fruitful conversation.
But when they have gotten out of hand…how can you turn them from unsuccessful to successful so you don’t find yourself walking on those proverbial eggshells for hours or even weeks to come?
I discovered a tool a few years ago that I have introduced to my clients. It is called the AEEM. An acronym for Acknowledge, Explain, Express Remorse, and Make Amends.
When you use these steps in the graphic below, you can move forward with respect, understanding, and integrity for not only the other person involved but also for yourself.
Let me know if you have any questions, or want to dig a little deeper into this concept.
By the way, if you are in a marriage/relationship, be aware, the Make Amends part may just expand your family tree:)