Why Do We Argue?
Why do we want to silence or control each other?
We know that arguing will never achieve anything.
We may feel as if we have won,
but it doesn’t leave a good taste.
It’s a vicious cycle.
Sentient beings are social beings, but are hard-wired to survive. When we feel threatened, we usually resort to one of three primitive brain functions in order to protect ourselves: fight, flight, and freeze. Desire, aversion and ignorance. We instantly assess a conflict. Do we run? Have we the strength to fight and win? Do we play dead?
Breaking the pattern of behaviour:
If we enquire about a person’s history, then we are better able to change this vicious cycle of interactions. We start to understand where they’re coming from: we are all natural psychologists. Our instinct to react can be un-learned; the reaction is noted but not acted upon. This produces spontaneous openness, as there is nothing to defend or attack: we are enquiring and investigating.
Everyone recognises an attempt at kindness, although to some, this too will be annoying! But if we can talk about that, then humour is possible. Sharing and listening not only decreases conflict but increases intimacy, leading to both feeling more satisfied with the relationship.
Behind all this fighting, flighting and playing dead are the three kayas – the wisdoms covered in dust! (search The Key is the Reptilian Brain or Beauty and the Beast 😀 )
This could be why there are so many Buddhist traditions: people just don’t see things the same way. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, and one man’s poison may be another man’s medicine.