Imagine for a moment that there is a website where you post videos of your argument so that others could view and comment on the video. What kind of feedback would you receive?
What would be the tone of the argument? By tone I am referring to the nonverbal elements of the argument. What would your tone of voice be? Would you sound angry, cool, defensive? What do you think others would say about your tone?
What posture would you have? By posture, I mean what would your body language look like? Would you appear attentive to one another? Would you look into each other’s faces? Or would you be grimacing or smirking at each other?
Would you and your partner take turns speaking or would you talk over one another? Imagine how difficult it would be to hear what you are saying if you are each talking at the same time!
Would you sound like a lawyer making your case? Would you be trying to make a point based on evidence or logic that you hope would win over your partner to your point of view?
Would your sound blaming? Do you think you would be sharing your views and feelings or would you be commenting on your partner’s behavior, attitude or character? Would the viewers understand you or only understand your view of your partner?
Would you appear to be listening to each other? Do you look like you are processing your partner’s statements or simply reloading your argument to make your case?
Would you share the floor or would one of you do most of the talking? Would there be a back and forth conversation? Would each of you spend time both listening and sharing?
These are just some of the questions to ask yourself. By imagining objective viewers, you can take a more objective view of how you interact when you have an argument. Try to avoid justifying how you behave and take responsibility for your part in what the viewers would see on that video.