How to argue without damaging your relationship?
| Updated Nov 13, 2017 at 11:52am
All couples fight. If you’re scared that your arguing could ruin a good thing, join Beauty and Tips as we take a look at how to argue without damaging your relationship.
There isn’t a single couple that hasn’t had an argument. Your grandparents who have been together for fifty years? They’ve argued.
Your parents? They’ve fought. Even the couples who look solid as a rock – including those celebrity “power couples” and the cutest-ever-couples on Instagram – have argued and will continually argue. But you have argued with your partner and you know how volatile and upsetting it can be.
Perhaps you’re worried that one more fight could bring about the end of your relationship. So how come all these other couples fight and keep surviving? It’s because they have learned how to fight without damaging their relationship. Here’s how you can do that, too.
1.Don’t Run Away
First of all, don’t avoid conflict. Avoiding conflict is really easy to do, especially if you’re not a confrontational person. It’s the easy option that a lot of us take. However, it’s also the wrong option. Why? When you avoid conflict, nothing gets resolved. Those issues you had? They don’t just magically disappear. They’re still there, growing, getting bigger and attracting new problems. If there is a problem in your relationship, it’s much better to just air it as soon as possible.
Back in ancient Sparta, whoever managed to shout the loudest was deemed to be the victor in an argument. But we’re not in Sparta anymore. Raising your voice will only cause your partner to raise their voice, and from there things will just get more and more heated. “Why are you shouting at me? Why are you raising your voice at me?” If we have to shout to get our point across, it suggests that we’ve become hugely frustrated and angry. Ergo, we’ve lost all control, which can cause you to say things you don’t really mean, and it can even scare and upset your partner. Either way, it’s going to leave a bad impression and no argument between couples is ever resolved by shouting. Try to stay as calm as possible. If you feel yourself boiling over to the point where shouting is inevitable, take a time out.
3.Listen To Your Partner
What are you ordinarily like when you argue with your partner? Do you actively listen to their side of the story? Or are you constantly waiting for your turn? Maybe you interject them and don’t let them speak? There are two sides to every story. To get the big picture and to understand where your partner is coming from, you MUST listen to them. When it’s their turn, don’t just let them talk – actually take in what they’re saying. Listen with understanding. See this from their perspective. It’s only when we get both sides to the story that we can work towards reaching an amicable solution that’s fair to both parties.
When you’re about to have a flare-up, the last thing you probably want to do is hold hands with your partner. You’re angry, frustrated and want to lay into them, and holding hands will only calm you down. And that’s EXACTLY why it works. Holding hands prior to and during an argument with your partner is a great pattern disrupt technique that instantly changes your emotional state from angry to calm. Just the mere touch of your partner will bring you down a few emotional pegs and remind you that here is someone you love – someone who you don’t want to verbally and emotionally attack. You’ll still say the core of your message, but you’ll be calmer, wiser and more rational in your delivery. Plus, you’ll be more open to seeing their POV, and to forgiving them.
5.Talk To Someone Else
You won’t always be able to handle an argument by yourself. Sometimes, you’ll need advice from an outside source. Choose your confidant wisely. It could be your mom, a sibling or a close friend. Make sure that it’s someone who you both know, and who understands you both. Their advice could be invaluable, and it could help to shed some light on a different perspective.
6.Be Open To Communication
How many times have you gone into an argument at boiling point? You were so furious that you just wanted to get a whole load of stuff off your chest in one go. You didn’t care what your partner had to say – you were so sure you were right and they were wrong. For an argument not to damage your relationship, you need to adjust your mindset. Be open to communication, and remember that communication is the foundation of all healthy relationships.
Questions are powerful things. Often, all it takes is one simple but clear question to get to the heart of matters, bringing about a swift and acceptable resolution. Instead of assuming you know what your partner means, clear away the fog by asking questions.
8.Accept The Differences
Sometimes – always – there will be differences in an argument. Instead of trying to shout those differences down, or convince the other person to come around to our point of view, it’s much better to just accept the differences. In that way, both of you feel valued and validated and nobody loses.
9.You Don’t Need To Win
We all want to be right. But making your arguments about point scoring and winning is the easiest way to damage your relationship. Instead, be prepared to lose. Be prepared to accept that you were wrong. In fact, even if you know you were right but the argument is getting out of hand, back down and concede you were wrong. Fanning the flames like this is so much better than stoking them just so you can claim victory.
Sometimes, you can both win with a compromise. Let’s say you want to save this year, but your partner wants to spend big on something. Instead of stubbornly each sticking to your guns, meet each other down the middle.
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