Arguments - The School of Life (Hardback) 22-08-2019
An average couple will have between thirty and fifty significant arguments a year - and yet we're seldom taught very much about why they happen and how they could grow a little less intense. This is a guide to arguments in love: it teaches us why they might occur, what their symptoms are, how we could learn some wiser ways of communicating and how we would ideally patch up after a fight. The book looks at twenty of the most common arguments - including ones about sex, money, in-laws, who is 'cold' and who is 'over-emotional' and the state of the bathroom and the finances. We recognise our own antics but also pick up consoling and wise ideas on how to skirt certain conflicts going forward. The tragedy of every sorry argument is that it is constructed around a horrific mismatch between the message we so badly want to send ('I need you to love me, know me, agree with me') and the manner in which we are able to deliver it (with impatient accusations, sulks, put-downs, sarcasm, exaggerated gesticulations and forceful 'f *** yous'). A bad argument is a failed endeavour to communicate; this is a definitive guide to how we might argue better. 'The priority is not so much to avoid points of contention as to learn to handle them in less counterproductively vindictive and more gently strategic ways. We need a lot help in order in order to acquire the complex art of converting our poisonous arguments into effective and compassionate dialogues.'