There are many situations in our lives when we don’t want to get into an argument with others. At times we may not be in a mood to even prolong the conversation. We wish to terminate the encounter as early as possible. There are many effective lines we can use to avoid getting into an argument.
We may want to avoid an argument for various reasons. The person is familiar to us and we know we are being baited, to get into an argument because the other person is looking for an opportunity to rehash old arguments. This can happen even with people very close to us. Parents, in-laws, children, siblings may be spoiling for an argument. But you are in no mood. So one response that we can give to their statement is “Is that so?” This statement neither agrees with them nor questions the content of their statement. Following it with “You could be right” confuses the other person. Because now they are not sure whether you are agreeing with them or not. In Kannada, we can say, “Howda sari”, In Tamil, “Appadia sari” and in Telugu, "Avuna, sari”. These are magical sentences when uttered cuts the scope for argument even when the person has said something disagreeable to us.
“That’s interesting” is another neutral sentence which neither confirms nor denies what the other person is saying. Your child comes and plugs the earphone to your ears and makes you listen to the song she loves but you don’t care much about. “Did you like it?” is her question. You are in no mood to argue about genres of music, good/bad music etc. “It was interesting” is a response that stops arguments in its tracks. They go back feeling satisfied you are at peace for not having started an argument.
“This topic requires a greater amount of time. We should discuss it some other time". Some issues cannot be settled in a hurry. Just as you are leaving for work, your son comes up with, “Can I go with my friend for that one week trip?” You don’t want to be forced into a decision in a hurry. You neither want to say yes nor no. You want to go into greater details about what is involved. At such times saying the topic needs greater time is conveying your respect for the other person and the importance of the topic. It also helps in not getting into an argument just as you are leaving the house. This is a very useful sentence to use even on the phone when the other person is raising a topic and you don’t want to get into it.
“You are not getting an argument from me.” On occasions, you are very clear about what you want. You are conveying the need in plain and simple words and the other person starts countering you wanting you to change your mind. You have told your aged parent that they need to take the medicines that the doctor has advised them. They try to bargain with you and you are firm. At such times telling that you are not looking for an argument conveys the die is cast and no scope for bargaining.
Many of us may enjoy a good argument. That is also social lubrication. But there are times when we are not in a mood for one. At such times these tools help.