Couples Counselling brighton hove

Respectful Ways to End a Contentious Conversation


One thing we all have in common is that we don’t always agree with one another. Over time we have come to accept that there are times when we must respectfully disagree with someone and move forward. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly tricky often to agree to disagree in today’s divided society.

Television and social media reflect the strain political disagreements has placed on people with their family, friends and co-workers. This has only served to magnify the division, making it seemingly impossible to have a civil conversation with someone you don’t agree with. An agreement with a loved one or family member could cause you many problems, and an argument with a boss of c0-worker could cost you your job. If you find yourself in a heated exchange and you need to diffuse it fast, here re some ways you can politely end that awkward conversation.


When we are arguing, typically we are not listening, but only want to be heard. If you’re going to end an argument respectfully, stay quiet and let the person vent without interruption. You may find yourself wanting to argue with them or to defend yourself and your point of view. However, if you’re going to end the conversation on a positive note, it is often best to let them get the last word.

Ask Questions

Use your natural curiosity to ask questions of the person you are arguing with. Do without condescension or sarcasm but with genuine interest. Even if you already know the answer (or don’t care to hear what it is), asking questions may diffuse the argument, allowing the other person to share their viewpoint with you. You can then end the conversation bu saying something like, ‘that’s an interesting perspective, I never thought about it in that way”.

Find Common GroundTo end an argument on a positive note, you can steer the conversation towards things you both agree on. It will be easier to finish the discussion on a positive note. If they try to steer the conversation back to the heated issue, change the subject to something positive, or let then speak, then say, ‘I can respect that’.

Remember the Golden Rule

The adage, ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ is a common saying for a reason. Treating other people as you would like to be treated is one of life’ fundamental principles. When you vehemently disagree with someone, it is difficult to treat them with kindness. But by having empathy for others, we develop patience, a quality that will serve us for our lifetime.

Are you struggling to get along with friends, family or co-workers? Call my office and let’s schedule a time to talk.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This