A pissing war is a crude term for a battle of wills. It usually involves a tit for tat exchange of words that escalates the conflict and almost involve a lot of emotion. Each side is convinced that they’re right, and the other side, dead wrong. People begin to use inflammatory words or actions to inflict maximum damage.
You can see examples in political, business, or domestic disputes. Men are more likely to get into these conflicts. Women are usually more subtle and better at passive aggressiveness. It makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. Males have to fight against one another sometimes to the death to determine who’s the alpha and has the right to breed. Dudes who are more laid back had a lesser chance of passing their genes compare to their more aggressive rivals.
The competitive tendency carry into the modern world. Though in most case, we no longer have to worry about physical danger when we’re in an argument. It could still happen. Some people are more prone to anger than others, and have a very steep scale in the escalation of a conflict.
Arguments when done in a cool headed manner can be helpful to understand each other’s view. Sometimes a compromise can be reached when both parties are flexible. Though it’s tempting to go for an absolute victory and get the other side to admit that their wrong. It’s probably not going to happen due to each person’s sense of ego. Most people don’t want to lose face and look foolish.
When both parties are unwilling to compromise, then a stalemate occurs, and often escalations, as each side trying to position their views as “facts” and label the other side as “illogical,” “inconsistent,” or just plain “stupid.”
The trick is be aware when emotion is coming into an argument. Sometimes it adds creditability when you’re passionate about your views. But more often than not, the argument turns into a shouting match.
The key is not to get into one. Or if you do find yourself in one, walk away as soon as possible. It’s easier said than done. And it takes strong character to disengage when the instinct is to keep fighting.
Don’t do it out of fear, but instead to a realization that people will say and do things in an heated argument that they often will later regret.
One way to do end a bad situation gracefully is by saying, “Let’s agree to disagree.” If you don’t need to engage that person again, then don’t. Surround yourself with positive people. If you do have to see them again, try to do it when both parties are cooled down.
Watch out for people who are prone to outbursts. They either have very little self control or very manipulative and trying to intimidate you. Stay away from them if possible, otherwise be extremely careful around them.
This doesn’t mean let other people bully or pick on you . If you see that they keep pushing even after you’ve disengaged. That’s when you hit back and stand up for yourself.
A battle of wills is extremely damaging to both sides. It releases massive amount of cortisol, a stress hormone that’s very bad for you in large doses.
Bottom line, don’t get into a pissing war, otherwise walk away from it ASAP.