Many of the lessons in my life and career have been learned the hard way. Fortunately or unfortunately I am an experiential learner, and have made mistakes in my personal and professional life that upon reflection seem obvious to avoid and silly to have made. I am not perfect, but an ever improving work in progress.
One of these lessons is “If you cannot agree with others at least disagree in a civil manner”.
I use to pride myself on being a fighter, determined, and focused (some may even have said stubborn! :). This is the exact opposite tactic to be effective!
I usually err on the side of action, but during a disagreement the best course of action is to pause and think. There is more to this than just being polite! Assuming your goal is to resolve an issue, a heated argument does nothing to achieve that goal. Your opponent stops listening to you the minute your voice is raised, you are judged as aggressive and / or irrational by observers and you have actually gone backward on resolving the real issue. Most importantly, when you argue you stress yourself out. That has health consequences when done consistently.
It is impossible to be constructive when your emotions have run away with you. As my wife says “You have to give someone the power to upset you”. I learned from a mentor that asking questions, and not taking anything personally, is the best way to diffuse a situation. Factual and direct is the best course of action. The entire situation may be a misunderstanding, or the result of a temporary bad day that can be easily worked through and blow over. Even if it is about you personally, remaining positive and constructive is the best defense against unwarranted attacks.
Stay positive my friends!