“Silence is a lesson learned from the many sufferings of life.” Seneca, Thyestes.
When you can listen to someone a little longer, why talk? We feel the need to justify ourselves – in showing we belong to a group, or displaying our strength in resistance to an insult or perceived wrong being committed, especially when we feel provoked.
And yet we still have a choice. Instead of saying something that makes us concur or sympathise with another’s situation, only to reduce the feeling of being an outsider if we don’t show solidarity, we can choose to listen more, or ask questions that allow the other person to continue talking. This is not agreeing with them, or stating our opinion or position, but merely allowing the other person to feel listened to, understood and perhaps accepted.
For your next potential argument that is brewing, try silence.