If you know that you and your mate have proven differences in opinion on certain subjects, it is better to avoid those subjects if you know it will only end in an argument; so don’t have a debate within your relationship if you will end up not speaking to each other afterwards. As an example, if you are a Liberal and your mate is a Labor man, then discussions on politics should probably be avoided. As the two of you identify new topics that could cause a negative debate session, stop the conversation before it even gets started, agree to disagree, and discuss only those subjects that will promote healthy discussion and a positive outcome. Sometimes this boils down to the difference in temperament.
If your mate has a choleric temperament, there is little use in arguing. Cholerics will never let you win as their negative qualities include jealousy, irritability, intolerance, impatience and so on. They can’t stand anyone to argue against them. Furthermore, even when they are wrong, they will argue that they are right.
Now, if your mate has a sanguine temperament, the game is a little different. Sanguines get angry very easily if you can’t see their point of view. They would prefer to play rather than debate within your relationship; they would consider this hard work unless they can hold the floor and wrap the debate up in lots of different stories with a sprinkling of embellishments.
A different experience comes with the melancholic. Melancholics can be far too sensitive, and if you disagree with them, they will usually retreat into their shell and will refuse to debate within your relationship at all. Some tend to have a low self-image unless they have worked on themselves, and sometimes consider that others know more than they do about certain subjects. Usually they are extremely well informed about the subjects they like, but these subjects may not appeal to the mate, so an attempt must be made to do things and discuss things that appeal to both partners if the relationship is to survive.
Last of all the person who is a phlegmatic. Phlegmatics can appear quite unenthusiastic about debate within your relationship and can be quite resistant to change of any sort. However, if you can debate on a subject they like, they will contribute readily enough, with much encouragement. Their stubbornness can be extremely annoying, and can often be the cause of fights. So don’t expect too much from them. You might just have to suggest something and then arrange to do it. Usually they are quite happy to tag along.
So if you have an idea of the temperament of your mate, and remember they can be a combination of different temperaments, it will certainly help you in how to go about debating; what subjects to choose, and which ones to avoid.
Watch for the next article on “Set in Your Ways?