You may be afraid to talk to certain family or friends because you know it will lead to arguments.

The result is a relationship that isn’t dead, but is completely numb.

Chances are that this is a relationship you would like to salvage.

Try some of our tactics in order to really talk to the person rather than dreading your next conversation with them:

1. Don’t interrupt: Hear the other person out. Let them say what they need to say.

2. Listen for their intent: Don’t simply try to convey your point, listen for the point the other person is making (even if you disagree with it). They have a reason for saying what they are saying.

3. Agree to disagree: At times you won’t be able to agree. Accept this as a fact of life. Discuss instead how to manage your differences. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with having a difference of opinion.

4. Highlight what you agree about: There is probably some common ground between you. Note this to emphasise that you aren’t completely at odds.

5. Forgive: Forgiveness is when you have a right to hold a grudge, but you don’t. You let it go, and the relationship is restored. You don’t simply bite your tongue, you remove it as a stumbling block. Are you still arguing about something that happened years ago? Let it go. If you want to hold it over the person, you aren’t really interested in having a mutually beneficial relationship.

6. Don’t compete: Sometimes your argument ends up being a competition, heralding which of you is in the right. Remember that illustrating who is right is less important than the relationship itself.

7. Assert yourself: Be respectful but remember that respect needs to go both ways. Don’t let yourself be a punching bag on a permanent basis.

8. Choose your battles: Do you bicker about insignificant things? Maybe stand up for yourself when it’s actually necessary. You don’t need to get your way with everything.

Some things are more important than winning an argument.