Relationship arguments are a part of life, and they can happen in any relationship, whether it’s a best friend, a romantic partner, or even a coworker. But when it comes to your life partner, especially if you are in a long-term relationship, things can get out of hand if you don’t know how to handle a disagreement.
If you plan to build your way into a lasting healthy relationship, you need to know how to have a good conversation, even when the topics are problematic.
Arguing in a relationship should be like extinguishing a fire, but for some reason, people seem to think that fueling it is the way to go when it’s not. If you want to find out how to argue in a relationship while keeping things healthy and respectful, this article is for you.
1. Your focus should always be on finding the solution to your problems
Everyone has relationship problems, but if you really want to make progress and change things, you need to stir the focus away from the complaints and try to come up with a solution to your problems.
This will save you a lot of screaming and getting hot-headed because you will be trying to solve the problem instead of complaining about it. Healthy communication is encouraged, of course, but “healthy” is the keyword.
Communicating just because you are furious or frustrated won’t do any good, and it might end up paving the way towards a toxic relationship as these fighting mechanisms become a pattern. If you want to have a healthy relationship, you must be solution-oriented, and everything else will fall into place.
2. Words have power
If you want to have a successful relationship, you have to mind the things you say, because words can be stronger than you imagine. Using overstatements like “you never do this” or “you always do that” will do no good in an argument because the other person will do nothing else but try to debunk your exaggerated arguments.
Think about what you want to say before saying it and try to moderate your choice of words to try and build an argument that makes sense and that actually achieves something.
3. Use “I” statements
If you want the person you are arguing with to feel defensive, using “you” statements will do the trick. But what’s the point? Instead, try to show your point of view with statements that start with “I.” Some examples are “I feel this…” or “I think that…”.
This allows you to expose how you feel without holding the other person directly accountable for your feelings. It’s a great mechanism to make the other person empathize with your point of view, which makes it easier for you two to reach an agreement.
4. Listen to what the other person has to say
Respect in a relationship is one of the major keys to success, and every discussion needs to be respectful if you expect to achieve a positive result. This means that you should actively listen when the other person is talking instead of just waiting for your turn to talk.
If you are committed to finding out how to settle disagreements in a relationship, you should hold on to the idea that communication needs to work as a two-way street.
Give the other person space and time to express themselves and take your time to do the same as well. Listening – really listening – is vital if you want to understand one another and solve your mutual problems.
5. Take a step back
Sometimes if you are upset about something, you might end up saying harsh things that you don’t mean. The problem with this is that once you put those things out there, you can’t take them back, and the damage will be done.
If you want a long-lasting relationship, you will have to teach yourself how to think things through before saying them. And sometimes, this means taking a step back, breathing in and breathing out before you speak. Don’t have fights while you are hot-headed – you might regret them in the end.
6. Don’t go to bed mad at each other
Humans experience a vast range of emotions, and it can be difficult to deal with some of them, especially when it comes to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. But if you want things to last, you can’t allow resentment to build up.
So, even if your argument doesn’t end the way you expected it to, the healthy way to go about things is to compromise. Do not go to bed mad at each other, and do not end up a fight while you are still resented and upset.
Try to end things on a good note, with a hug or any other display of affection that reminds you why you are with this person in the first place. Then, if you need to, pick up where you left off and work things through.