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· You started this argument, and I`m going to finish it.
· You brought up my mother, and I`m going to have my say.
· You started it.
When adults get angry or upset, they tend to say things from childhood, which is one reason we all say silly things, at least on occasion. This phrase is a perfect example. Very young children say this kind of thing, in an attempt to deny any responsibility or wrong doing. What happens? Both children accuse the other of “starting it”, and the original issue is never addressed.
It’s no different for adults. In good relationships, the people are better able to address and solve problems, while those in poor relationships tend not to, and have to deal with the same problems over and over. One of the reasons is the kind of side-tracking that occurs with phrases like this.
No matter what the issue, it doesn’t matter “who started it”. What matters is how both of you will talk about, and solve the problem.
The other reason you might use this phrase is you are intent on WINNING the argument, almost at all costs. Doesn’t work. Focus on WIN-WIN.
Make It Better:
· I’m not sure why we are talking about who started what. Can we get back to the problem and see what we can come up with?
· You brought up the issue, so it’s important to you, right? So let’s fix it.
· We’re both getting caught up in an argument, and forgetting how important the issue is.