Avoid These 4 Statements in Arguments

Don’t make it personal

Janice Tovey


Photo by Mateusz D on Unsplash

Avoid These 4 Statements in Arguments

To reduce escalation!

Has someone said or done something that has angered you to a point of no return?

Feel tension mounting?

Blood pressure rising?

Fists clenching?

While there has been a great deal of advice about what to do in stressful or confrontational situations, there has been less about what not to do.


  • You never listen to me, or you are not listening to me.
  • This situation is all because of you, it is all your fault.
  • YOU always do this or say this or behave this way.
  • I seriously can’t believe you are saying or doing this again.

This is argumentative language.


Try instead to paraphrase what you have heard the other person saying.

Paraphrasing helps the other person to feel validated, listened to and understood. Put what they have said into your own words and then de-escalate the situation by adding your own take on what they have said.

Respect and acknowledge another individual’s point of view and then expand upon it by adding your own opinion.

At a minimum this will let the other person know that you are at least listening to what they are saying.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Often, we must assert our point of view: Here is what to say instead:

  • I am trying to understand your perspective.
  • I hear what you are saying.
  • I can imagine what you must be feeling.

Focus on the issue and the topic of conversation. Don’t make it personal. View the situation as a problem-solving opportunity and resist bringing up past or future similar scenarios.

Most of all, think about how you would like to be treated in a similar situation.

Janice Tovey 2023



Janice Tovey

My passion is writing. I also love reading, teaching, animals, nature, music, and humor. I am curious about everything and enjoy writing about all things.