I once had a conversation with a colleague where I was agreeing with him and commending him on his insights. At one point he looked confused and said, You’re not a very good arguer.
I replied: I thought we were having a conversation.
Fights are about power. Conversations are about learning and understanding. Arguments have the ability to go either way. That’s why practicing mindfulness in each moment is so important. If I can see myself moving from conversation to argument, I can interrupt the process by asking myself if I’m having an argument or a conversation. This question helps to bring me back to the present moment, where I have the most perspective.
I do the same thing even when I have a conversation with myself. When I veer into arguing with someone in my mind, I’ll self-interrupt by asking, Are we having a conversation or an argument, Farhad? This brings me back to being mindful and intentional. It allows me a reset and returns me to center.
What are some things you do to return to center?