Say the word "argument" and what do you think about? If you're like me, you probably think about two people yelling at each other. But really, arguments don't have to be that way. They can be civil, insightful, and even (dare I say it?) exhilarating. Arguments are just discussions where you have a different viewpoint than someone else. You can learn from them and make your relationship even better than it was before.
Then why don't more people enjoy arguments? LOL - Well, I don't think anyone really enjoys them, because disagreeing with someone has become a very unpleasant thing. No one likes to be told that what they think and believe is "wrong."
Part of the problem is that we don't know how to argue effectively. It's not our fault. We learn from our parents and grandparents, and it's not their fault, either. Everyone is just trying to do their best, but sometimes their "best" means that they scream and yell and cause more problems than if they had just remained silent.
The way you change things is by learning how to do something better. What's that Maya Angelou quote? "When you know better, you do better."
One way to get better at arguing, meaning that you are able to have a respectful yet spirited discussion with a friend, is by reading about effective methods you can follow. To that end, I found several of them in the book, How to Argue. Now, I have to say that much of this book is geared toward the business world. Don't let that stop you from reading about how to communicate better, however, because you can take these tips and apply them to friendship. Here's my take on the book How to Argue, and some of the tips I think are most helpful to friendships.