Why it takes two to quarrel?

A husband and wife quarreling.
A quarrel is always unpleasant. It is defined as a breach of concord or verbal strife followed by severed and strained relations."

When there is a quarrel almost invariably each side seeks to blame the other for it. However, the fact is that both sides are to blame, because it takes two for a quarrel.

 If one is trying to start a quarrel or pick a fight, they will get nowhere and there will be no quarrel so long as the other ignore them or refuse to respond in kind.

Indeed on has the right to defend themselves from bodily harm, but one does not need to pay back blow by blow.

Usually, prudence may be indicated by taking flight when attacked, then resorting to legal redress later when you are out of harm’s way.

Avoiding being incited

What if it is just a slap? Usually a slap on the face is intended as an insult and may be for the purpose of provoking the recipient to rage so that there will be a quarrel or a fight." 

In such a case it would be wiser to ignore such provocation or at least not play into the hands of quarrelsome ones by imitating their methods.

Note this true life incident. A group of four foreigners were touring one of Europe’s leading cities in a bus filled mostly with natives of the city.

Repeatedly they all left the bus to view places of interest and then returned.

At one such place a native stepped up to one foreigner traveler and began hurling insults at him.

Taken aback, the foreign traveler was at loss as to what to make of it, but gathered that somehow he had unwittingly offended the hotheaded native.

He took care not to answer in kind, which apparently was what the native hoped he would do so as to have an excuse to strike blows.

Instead, he apologized for any offense he may have occasioned and assured the angry one that no offense had been meant.

This conciliatory attitude robbed the native of the occasion he had been seeking and the incident came to an end.

It is so easy for a quarrel to start among those closely associated because of the living together in the same office or home.

Often a quarrel results because one feels that he has been wronged, perhaps even defrauded, by another.

But even if there such an injustice, this does not justify quarreling and angrily raising the voice with abusive words.

There is never any justification for losing one’s temper as doing so never helps matters, but only adds insult to injury in the mind of the other and makes matters worse.

 If need be, it would better to seek arbitration than to cause physical harm to one another.

Often, merely a dogmatic statement by one person is sufficient to start a quarrel because of its nature of being a challenge to another.

However, instead of meeting a dogmatic statement with another dogmatic statement, would it not be wiser to remain silent?

If it is necessary to make a reply, then do so tactfully, perhaps by posing an enlightening question.

This may cause the dogmatic one to recede and if not, at least the avoid aggravating the situation.

Mental aids

One of the greatest aids to avoiding quarrel is empathy, being able to put oneself in the other fellow’s place or mental frame of mind." 

By doing so you will be able to appreciate the reasoning and feelings of others and so understandingly work for peace. In the interest of peace one should be willing to forgive in order to restore strained relationships.

Another great aid to avoiding quarrels is self-control. In the presence of provocation hold a tight rein on your tongue as well as your facial expressions and your hands.

Let principle, not passion rule. Knowing what harm quarrels can do and how easily they can get out of hand, it is truly the course of wisdom to steer clear of quarrels.

In turn, love and humility will help us to exercise self-control. Love for our fellow human beings will help us make allowances for the failings of others and humility will keep us from setting ourselves up as judges of others.

So, for the benefit others as well as yourself, when provocation arises, remember, it takes two to quarrel.

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