All couples do it. Argue! Rows are inevitable as two different minds try to navigate their way together through life. Arguments can be especially intense if you are establishing a new relationship and getting to know your partner.
How to argue with a positive outcome!
All couples do it. Argue! Rows are inevitable as two different minds try to navigate their way together through life. Arguments can be especially intense if you are establishing a new relationship and getting to know your partner. But long-term romances can suffer, too, as simmering resentments bubble away under the surface.
What might surprise you is that, if handled in the correct way, arguments can actually help your relationship improve. A strong relationship is one that knows how to deal with conflict to find a mutually beneficial resolution. Read on to discover how to change your arguments from destructive to constructive.
Conflict begins within you. So before you start yelling at your partner, ask yourself the reason you feel angry. Be honest with yourself. Is it really because your spouse has just forgotten to take out the bins again? Or is it because you had a bad day at work and feel generally stressed? Self awareness prevents needless arguments.
If you have an issue with your partner, don't let resentment grow. Address the issue as soon as you can. Otherwise you'll feel resentful and bitter.
But be sure to pick a good moment to address the issue. Don't begin bickering at bedtime, for instance, or when you or your partner are tired or stressed. Fatigue and stress will not help you to have a constructive exchange of views!
A really simple tip is: don't shout! Raising your voice is aggressive and will make the other person aggressive back. Communicate in your regular tone of voice, or even lower your tone of voice a bit. It magically takes the anger out of the argument.
Stick to the issue. Don't bring up a litany of your partner's past wrongdoings! Otherwise your partner will be so busy defending him/herself, they won't be listening to the real issue.
Your truth is not the truth. You feel hurt but perhaps your partner did not intend to make you feel that way. In fact, if they did that's not a good sign for the relationship! So when you argue, frame your assertions as feelings rather than absolute facts - because that's what they are. This also helps your partner to feel less persecuted and more likely to be responsive to your complaint.
Your partner is not a mind-reader! So state your issue clearly, rather than skirting around it. Give specific examples of when and how you felt hurt. Tackle the big issue at the root of all your feelings. For example, the issue now is that your partner forgot to take out the bins again. But at the root of this issue is your fear that this neglect signifies their lack of care or concern about your relationship.
A sure-fire way to lose respect and permanently weaken your relationship is to fling insults at each other. So using foul language or saying things you know will hurt your partner is the biggest no-no in the book. It's pointless and damaging. You shouldn't be together if you row this way. Even negative labelling, such as 'you're over-sensitive' or 'don't be neurotic', falls into this category.
Your partner should never feel physically or emotionally intimidated by you. Violence of any kind has no place in an argument, ever. This includes banging or slamming objects, or shouting abuse. If you behave in this way, you should not be in a relationship with anybody. You should seek professional counselling to resolve your issues immediately.
A constructive argument with your lover shouldn't be about who wins. It's about resolving the issue to your mutual benefit. You are a team, not competitors.
You cannot make your partner be the person you want them to be. Using emotional blackmail only postpones the problem for later, and will make them lose respect for you, eventually. So don't threaten to leave every time you can't get your own way.
State your issue as briefly and as simply as you can. Then allow your partner to state his/her side. Don't interrupt each other. You must both listen carefully! It's not a competition, you're trying to work things out.
Take a moment to think about what's been said. It may help to go into different rooms or take a short walk outside while you cool down and process the issue.
A difficult one for many people! But being mature enough to know you are not always right is key to solving the issue. Try to see the issue from your partner's perspective.
Arguments are always solved through compromise. Ensure both of you get some positives from the resolution. Being fair to both is the key.
Now it's time to make the changes you've agreed. This must be done quickly. Learn from the results of this disagreement to avoid similar situations in the future.
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