It's relatively easy to understand intellectually how we can put into practice the art of joyfully losing an argument. However, reversing old emotional habits requires considerable effort in the beginning. Here I review the steps involved so that you can try them out in your own relationships.

1. Valuing Difficult People: Identify one or more people in your daily life who sometimes give you a difficult time. Make a decision to try to practice this method in your relationships with them.

2. Recognizing an Opportunity: Then, when one of those people is agitated for some reason and starts giving you a hard time, pause for a moment and remember that this is your chance to practice this method.

3. A Cognitive Intervention: To help yourself from falling into old, reactive patterns, remember some of the disadvantages of reacting to the person in an agitated way. Also remember some of the advantages of peace, patience, and compassion.

4. Riding the Wave: Now relax and remain open to the other person. Allow the person's wave of agitated emotion to come toward you and to evoke a natural, resonant, empathetic response. Use your own deep awareness of this person's suffering and the energy of the emotion being expressed as ways of connecting with this person and increasing your compassion.

5. Lose the Argument: Now go ahead and lose the argument. Trust your own intuition as you express your compassion for the other person. Remember that the point isn't to control how the other feels. The point is to be genuinely kind, open, patient, and compassionate. Trust in and enjoy the process.

Lorne Ladner in The Lost Art of Compassion