How To Shut Someone Down In An Argument? (8 Tips)

Who loves arguing? I’m sure, it’s not you, and some of us don’t want to be involved in any form of argument. Sometimes, silence is the answer to someone who’s blabbing nonsensical, hurtful, and annoying words.

However, sometimes it would be better to punch them, right? But, no! Arguments are a way of sharpening our communication skills, not physical strength. Maybe you’re wondering, if not physically, how to shut someone down in an argument? 

To shut someone in a heated argument, you must first understand his or her point as well as yours and be open-minded to some solutions.

Saying phrases like “I understand”, “Maybe you’re right”, “Let me think about that”, and “What do you need right now” works best allowing both parties to cool down. Also, saying you’re sorry would often put the fire off. 

You may not be able to avoid an argument, but you’ll have the best chance of turning the conversation in a positive direction if you use these tips we have compiled for you. 

What Doesn’t Work In An Argument?

What Doesn’t Work In An Argument?

Fights and conflicts, whether at work or elsewhere, have one thing in common: enraged parties frequently seek additional reasons to be enraged.

Why is this happening? As defined by psychologist Harry Mills in his book Anger Management, “Anger is defined as a combination of feelings of pain and anger-inducing thoughts that can sometimes motivate a person to defend themselves.

As a result, they can rationalize their rage.

It’s annoying when the other person doesn’t seem to get what you mean. It could be that now and then something goes your way. Some people use these tactics because they feel like they have to act quickly.

However, the following tricks don’t work and are not proven to resolve an argument. 

  • People are speaking more loudly now
  • Bringing up the proof and old grudges
  • Giving a voice of urgency and not letting the subject drop
  • Follow the other person from room to room.

However, these strategies have problems. A loud voice can sound like someone is attacking. Evidence. This is a good thing because evidence gives you a chance to get distracted by debating the evidence.

A lot of the time, urgency looks impatient, frustrated, or angry to other people.

If the conversation doesn’t get off track, you can keep trying to figure out how to solve the problem. If it turns into a fight, you might need a different way to deal with this.

How To Shut Someone Down In An Argument

How To Shut Someone Down In An Argument

Since when has it ever occurred to you that you’ve been in the middle of an argument with someone and have no idea how it got started? More often than you might think, it happens more frequently and more easily than you might expect.

We’ve been hardwired for conflict for millennia, and we’re far more likely to go on the attack than to try to find ways to compromise and work together.

That’s not the only option, though. You can avoid a shouting match in any conversation by shifting gears and engaging in a productive discussion instead. Make an effort to avoid escalating into an all-out argument the next time you find yourself in that situation. 

Pause for a few seconds and take a few deep, slow breaths to calm yourself down. Determine whether you’ve taken an aggressive posture or position and if so, change it back to something more friendly.

Shutting Down Anyone In An Argument

Shutting Down Anyone In An Argument

When you’re disagreeing with someone, old grudges start to surface. Your partner, your friend, or your family reacts angrily, bringing up the one thing that irritates you.

You’ve gone from being irritated to being deeply offended. But before you lash out with your cutting remark, respond with one simple word.

Below are the simple words or phrases you can say to shut someone down in an argument:

1. “How are you feeling?”

Using this phrase at the beginning of a conversation can help you get a sense of how the other person is feeling and how physically they are feeling. You’re also allowing him or her to see if anything is affecting your interaction, such as an emotional upset or physical discomfort. 

However, be cautious. You don’t want to imply that a person’s worries stem solely from a lack of sleep or low blood sugar. That will only exacerbate the situation.

2. “Let me think about that.”

Three things happen when you’re fighting: your heart rate rises, your blood pressure rises, and you might start to sweat. This is called “fight or flight“.

People who study marriage call this “flooding“. You focus your mind on the danger in front of you, not on the nuances and possibilities that could happen in the background. Because of this, the ability to solve problems goes down.

It floods when there isn’t a lion ready to attack. Time to think helps your body calm down. It also sends a message that you care enough to at least think about the other person’s point of view, which is calming for the person who is fighting.

3. “What do you need right now?”

Once again, you’ve demonstrated a genuine concern for their well-being. Asking this question will only allow them to think of what they need at the moment, cooling down the argument.

Additionally, you’ve allowed yourself to come up with a more long-term solution by addressing their immediate concerns.

4. “Maybe you’re right.”

This works because it shows that you are willing to compromise. This signal is enough to change most people’s minds and let them take a step back as well. Yet, it’s not easy to do.

As a general rule, thinking of acknowledging someone else’s point of view usually softens us up. Saying “maybe you’re right” means you’re only saying that there might be some truth to their point of view and that you’ll think about what they said.

5. “What I heard you say is…”

Most people get angry when they feel ignored or brushed aside. The best way to keep a conversation from turning tense is to simply repeat back what someone has said to you (ideally in your own words).

You’ve just demonstrated that you’re interested in and eager to learn about the other person’s point of view. The best part is that anyone who says or hears something and doesn’t mean it will have the opportunity to correct the record.

6. “I understand.”

Understanding is a heavy word but it can soften the hearts of someone. Saying you understand them means they do well because they show empathy to the people they talk to. You stop a fight by changing its direction.

You don’t fight when they try to understand someone else’s point of view. It can be hard to say because it can feel like giving up when you stop to think about something. 

The fact that you can understand doesn’t mean that you agree. The fact that you understand doesn’t mean you have to solve the problem and as long as you don’t have to do anything, you can just listen.

7. “What would it take to make you happy?”

To put it another way, this is a more comprehensive version of the previous query. It’s a sign of your concern for their well-being if you ask them what makes them happy. Because sometimes the tiniest of details can make all the difference.

8. “I’m sorry.”

These words may be the most powerful. It’s a lot of work for one administrator to say “sorry” to people all the time. Many people don’t want to apologize because they think that apologizing is admitting guilt and taking full responsibility. This is a way to show sympathy and care.

If you say “I’m sorry,” you’re taking some of the blame and your goal is to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Apologies can be very powerful. They have prevented lawsuits, improved business communication, and healed personal rifts, among other things.

Shutting Down Your Partner With Just One Word

Shutting Down Your Partner With Just One Word

Hal Runkel, a marriage and family therapist, says that saying “ouch” could put an end to a tense argument rather than escalating it. When it comes to triggering words, your significant other probably knows you better than anyone else. 

No doubt your partner still has your back, but you’ll both regret what you said in the heat of the moment. That’s why you need to let your partner know that things are getting heated. Whew! That was a stinging sensation. 

When arguing with your partner, say this: “Ouch. That one hurt. I don’t know if you were meaning to hurt me; I don’t know if that’s what you were going for; but that’s what you did,”

That word will cause both you and your partner to pause before saying anything else hurtful. You can return to the core issue with a wake-up call that the argument could have long-term repercussions.

It’s now a completely different path because one of you chose to get vulnerable which was a very familiar path, that fight. It’s time to put the past behind you and begin a new chapter in your life with a clear head and heart.

Your partner may be able to recall many examples of harsh words you have used in a heated argument. Runkel advises apologizing to your partner calmly and clearly, rather than denying or minimizing the harm you’ve done.

This dialogue could reveal a lot about the relationship if it doesn’t work and your partner continues to be mean to you. However, you won’t know unless you give it a shot.

When each side tries to persuade the other that his or her point of view is the correct one, it frequently results in an argument.

It doesn’t make sense to do that in many cases. Ask yourself if you can find a solution that both parties can agree on, without either side convincing the other that they are right. You’re more than likely capable of doing so.

There are times when you can’t win if you don’t play a game. Using a simple word or phrase, you can buy time, show that you’re willing to work together, show empathy, or own a part of the problem.

To have good communication, you need to follow these steps. People who play games that make them not fight can both be winners.


In the beginning, it’s important to avoid getting into a fight, but that’s only the first step in dealing with an emotionally charged issue! To talk about the beliefs and feelings that are beneath the surface, you sometimes have to dig down.

Then there’s a lot of work to be done to come to a compromise or agree on something. In other words, arguing only makes things worse, so it’s not a good idea to do that.

Joe Davies