We sometimes think of relationships as all sun and picket fences, and nothing could be further from the truth. All healthy relationships face conflict from time to time. What defines these partnerships is how the two people come together to deal with these times of dysfunction.
There is a right way and also a wrong way to argue. Once we understand this, we release even deeper and more meaningful communication in our relationships. Arguing with our partners is not about insulting, gaining the upper hand, or winning the perceived competition.
It’s about opening up when we have problems and learning to communicate with each other more effectively. Fighting with our partner is not a one-way street. We need to learn to share the dialogue and share our feelings, but only after we have had enough time to process those emotions on our own.
Choose Your Words Carefully
Hitting below the belt is not okay, no matter what has been done. When you resort to hitting below the belt, you undermine the validity of your argument while alienating the other person and making them less likely to listen compassionately.
Careless choice of words can also increase misunderstandings, hurtful feelings, and another growing complication that takes you further away from solutions.
Don’t Dwell On The Past
We cannot dwell on the past if we ever hope to move our relationship forward. When your partner hurts your feelings, the time to cope is in the present moment, not three months later; the next time, there’s a blast.
Tracing old wounds creates the idea that nothing will ever be good enough. It pushes your partner away and forces them to believe that you can’t see the good in them.
Perhaps one of the most toxic habits in conflict is that we can adopt a one-sided view. This occurs when you support an argument, and you make it all about you – even and the way you leave things.
You leave no room for another person’s reality, and with that, you usually lose your tendency to rely on empathy and compassion. Whatever you say, when you say it, and you refuse to accept someone else’s answers.
Let Go Of The Winner Mentality
Rather than worrying about who is right or wrong, look at what is wrong and look for proactive ways to fix it. Approach your problems from an independent and third-party perspective and realize that this is not a competition.
You and your partner should work to progress towards the same goal line because you are teammates. If you need to identify a victory, look for the success the two of you can achieve together by exposing your problems as rational, loving adults.
Think Before You React
The first problem most of us face when arguing with a partner or spouse is falling straight into an emotional reaction. When we are upset, it can be challenging to think clearly or to walk away.
Our emotions are potent, and they prompt us to take action when they perceive that we are in some mental or emotional difficulty. To overcome this tendency, we must learn to think and process before reacting and entering into conflict.