The Difference between Discussions and Arguments

Expressing your point of view is a right that everyone is entitled to. However, there are some key differences between discussions and arguments among peers and coworkers, as well as in your personal relationships. To make sure that you’re maintaining a healthy boundary when it comes to talking about sensitive topics with others, take some time to pay attention to the differences between discussions and arguments.

Discussions maintain a level of respect; arguments may not.

A discussion involves a conversation between two people. Each person takes the time to speak, emphasizing their points; and to listen, hearing with the other person has to say. An argument, on the other hand, may involve one party getting heated and refusing to respect the other person’s voice. This will rarely lead to any sort of successful conclusion.

Discussions involve listening to the other person, while arguments focus on making your voice heard.

In a discussion, a healthy dialogue can lead to an exchange of ideas, where one person listens to the point the other makes. In an argument, listening flies out the window in favor of emphasizing a personal point. By not listening to another person, the person who refuses to hear is delegitimizing the other’s point of view.

Discussions leave an open mind for new ideas, while arguments typically mean reinforcing the same point.

Discussions are best served to those who are willing and open to try a new idea, especially if the other person brings up a valid point. An argument, on the other hand, involves maintaining the same point and not being willing to listen to new ideas or changes, even if they could be to the benefit of all parties involved.

Discussions allow for different viewpoints, whereas arguments try to prove that one viewpoint is superior.

Discussions take place among those who are not afraid or intimidated by new viewpoints, while arguments can lead to a situation where one person tries to prove their viewpoint is superior, sometimes even culminating in violence, or excessive anger.

Discussions can lead to healthy conclusions, where arguments rarely do.

The root of a discussion is in listening and hearing what another person has to say, as well as in sharing your own thoughts. The root of an argument is anger, and trying to prove yourself right.

Discussions are set up to help people succeed, expand points of view, and creating new, invigorating ideas. Arguments generally shut down those ideas and stifle creativity.

There may be an occasion where arguing is warranted; say, if you are facing an oppressor. But for the most part, attempting to engage in a discussion will always yield a more positive result, and better communication, than an argument could.

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