Have you ever noticed, when you start your day on a certain note, it always continues on that one? It's like waiting on a red light signal and getting angry only to find out, that you happen to find all red lights on your way. Similarly, if you start your day with an argument at the beginning of the day, you may find yourself getting involved in multiple arguments over the day. N matter how petty the argument is, it ends up ruining your day. Adding stress to your daily life. But according to a study, an emotional response associated with disagreement can increase stress, and hence arguments should be resolved at the end of the day.
According to the findings of the study, people who resolved arguments or avoided arguments reportedly felt half the reactivity of those with unresolved arguments.
"Everyone experiences stress in their daily lives. You aren't going to stop stressful things from happening. But the extent to which you can tie them off, bring them to an end and resolve them is going to pay dividends in terms of your well-being," said researcher Robert Stawski from the Oregon State University.
For the research, the team used data from an in-depth survey of more than 2000 people who were interviewed about their feelings for 8 days. Following this, the findings of the study were revealed in The Journals of Gerontology.
The team studying the responses looked at the report of both people who either had arguments or the ones who avoided arguments. Avoided arguments being the ones where a person could have argued about something but chose to let it slide so as not to disagree.
The team then measured how the incident affected the person's daily mood, negative and positive emotions, both for the day of the encounter and the day after it occurred.
For understanding the study, it is important to first understand important terms. Reactivity can be understood as an increase in negative emotions or a decrease in positive emotions. And residue is the prolonged emotional toll the day after the experience occurs.
So based on the responses, the findings indicated, that people who thought their arguments were resolved, showed no prolonged elevation of their negative effect "residue" the next day.
1. Think before you talk: Arguments are an inevitable part of your daily life and cannot be done away with. People are bound to have different perspectives on matters and hence can lead to arguments. But there are ways to resolve arguments. Thinking before talking is an excellent way to ensure you say only what you mean. Taking a minute before actually expressing yourself in words can help in multi-folds during an argument.
2. Listen before you speak: During arguments, as humans, our defence is at the highest. This is to avoid being proved wrong and ensure our point is proven. But that only further complicates the argument. Listen to the other person before you talk to understand well enough what the person has to say before you begin defending yourself.
3. Ask questions for clarity rather than jumping to conclusions: It is important to ask questions and gauge the other person's point of view, rather than jumping to conclusions. Clarity of thought can help avoid conflicts and also helps in resolving them.
4. Take time out: During heated discussions, it is difficult to stand the grounds of rationality. Arguments often lead to bringing out previous unresolved issues, which further aggravates the fight. It is instead better to take time out and stay focused on the current disagreement. This makes finding solutions easy.
5. Focus on finding the midway: We often tend to have an attitude of "my way or the highway." But this does not help in solving arguments. Arguments or disagreements should not be treated as a means of getting matters settled your way. They should rather be considered as a means for finding a middle ground. Focusing your energy on what suits all the people involved more easily, and quick to resolve issues.
Finally, it is important to always remember that unresolved issues only lead to stress and unnecessary negative emotions. This adds to your daily-life stress, causing other ailments. Hence, it is better to resolve arguments.