Arguments in relationships are not a bad thing, they’re inevitable and can make your relationship better. You and your partner will eventually come to a disagreement, like on how much to budget for a trip, where the TV should go in the living room, where to go for lunch, and thousands of other things. You both can’t have your way, so an argument will soon follow.
If you know how to argue the right way, you’ll come to a peaceful compromise, better understanding of each other's thoughts and feelings, and signal your respect for one another. Every time you argue the wrong way, a snowball of unresolved issues becomes bigger and bigger, making it harder to have a happy, healthy relationship.
Here are some tips on how to argue the right way in relationships:
It’s always the little things that drive people crazy. When your partner doesn’t offer to help with the dishes, it may not seem like a big deal at the beginning of your relationship. If all goes well and you are together for years, these problems compound and become much bigger deals. Resolving issues early in a relationship can allow for more growth and avoid unrealistic expectations. No one wants to hear 5 years into their relationship after a million washed dishes:
I thought you liked washing the dishes alone…
This is the bunny slope that trains you both how to take on life together when you need to deal with the hard stuff like a serious illness or major financial problems.
When heated, or upset it is incredibly difficult to find solutions in an emotional context. Take a Time-out to calm down and organise yourself so as not to lash out. Walk around the block but nothing too long.This will help prevent any crying or yelling and center you. So take a breath, dry your tears and get to work together.
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It’s easier said than done but it is often the reason relationships fail. Taking time to listen and process what your partner is saying before answering or defending yourself will give you a better idea of how to find a solution to the problem. People have a tendency to listen in order to respond, making them pay less attention or filter out information of the speaker. Make sure you’re being present while listening.
Arguments can get heated and your emotional state will affect the words you say and how they’ll be interpreted. Keeping your voice at a calm, reasonable level will go a long way. You’ll be able to communicate what you mean more effectively. You’ll also calm yourself down in the process, making you choose your words from a more clear-headed state.
You weren't allowed to do it in kindergarten and you shouldn’t allow it in your relationship. Name calling is something we have all done that comes from of being hurt and unsurprisingly creates more pain. For example, calling your partner a “jerk” or “loser” only hurts them and doesn’t provide any valuable information. You’re only setting your relationship backwards by name calling, and building resentment for one another that will likely carry over long after the argument.
Addressing a problem with your relationship should be done at a time when you both can make time for each other. Right before your partner has to leave for work or in a time crunch is likely to cause more stress, frustration and won't set you and your partner up for a success. Contrary to popular belief, you can sleep on it, not every conflict needs to be resolved right away. Be patient and wait for the right time.
It’s important to express how you feel but in order for most people to understand how their behavior affects your feelings, you need to put them together clearly. When you don’t take the dog out when you are home all day, it makes me feel like you don’t care about me or our dog.
Your partner may not communicate their point in a straightforward way and possibly influenced by strong emotions, but there’s normally a valid point behind it all. Even if your partner says something baseless or hysterical, give them the benefit of the doubt that there’s a legitimate cause behind their actions.