How to argue constructively in a relationship? 8 Tips
There is no such thing as a couple that doesn’t fight from time to time. After all, we are different people and no matter how close and in harmony we feel with our significant other, there will always be things on which our opinions will differ. That’s healthy, we can’t think identically. It gets unhealthy when you start arguing all the time and that’s usually an indication that the relationship is going downhill and fast. Here are some tips for those who don’t argue all the time but feel bad when they do fight with their boo.
So how to constructively fight with your partner?
1. Communicate openly
Ah, the silent treatment, that wonderful passive-aggressive weapon that some of us love to use so much. It may work on a small child who’s been naughty but you better not deploy it in arguments with your partner. Whenever you feel a conflict bubbling, don’t turn your back, take the opportunity to thrash things out. The calmer the better, of course, but we don’t always achieve this state of calm argument, so live with it, just don’t shut up. open and sincere communication is a true key to a healthy and happy relationship.
2. Always treat your partner with respect
We often tend to exaggerate problems we have, and fights follow. First of all, be prepared that there will be fights, no matter how much you love each other. So, remind yourself that this will not be the last discussion you’ll ever have but at the same time it won’t be the end of your relationship, therefore, remember to always treat your partner with respect and love, even during those times when you don’t agree with each other. Needless to say, try to avoid arguing over insignificant stuff or if you have already got into a fight, try to end it as quickly and as peacefully, as possible.
3. Exercise emotional intelligence
When we get angry – reason steps out and emotion reigns supreme. This is where emotional intelligence comes into play. Being smart and being intelligent are two different things. Emotions can be really tricky and you could hurt someone in the heat of the moment, unintentionally, therefore, try to be fully present and mindful of your words and actions. Bear that in mind when you and your partner are starting to disagree and you’re gearing up for a huge argument. Disagreement is fine, but acting with the lack of love and respect towards each other is not, and once spoken words cannot be taken back, even if you didn’t really mean them, so be mindful, present and emotionally intelligent.
4. Remember that this is not a competition
Most of us love to have the last word in an argument, which is a a very unhealthy habit that can make a small discussion, that would otherwise have been over in ten minutes, drag on for days, just so that one of partners can have the last word. An argument, however heated it may be, is not a competition, repeat this to yourself before you say: “Yes, but you said…” in an attempt to get on top of your opponent and stay there, claiming some imaginary victory. A healthy communication is when two loving people look for a compromise and harmony. The true winner in an argument is the one who first finds an intelligent way towards a harmonious resolving of the situation.
5. Keep your cool and remain constructive, as much as you can
Nobody, even the most eloquent and persuasive person would get themselves better understood if they raise their voice. Nobody. Never. Think about how you feel when somebody is shouting at you. Do you feel at your most receptive? Hardly. When we are being shouted at, we shut down and want to run away, we literally become incapable of thinking clearly about whatever is being shouted at us. And, of course, we start shouting ourselves, and there goes any chance for a peaceful resolution. So, always keep your cool and remain constructive (not destructive), as much as you can.
6. Be ready to admit your faults quickly
A fight is something that can happen between two people, or, if you like, it takes two to argue. So, whenever you feel like having a little argument with your loved one, promise yourself that you will be ready to admit your faults and say sorry, if you are in the wrong. It’s human to make mistakes, including ones that start a fight. Readiness to apologise is an invaluable quality and you should be proud to be strong enough to apologise first. So, if you did start the argument, don’t try to steer things in the direction of blaming your partner, be mature and admit it was you. It may very well end the whole fight then and there.
7. Listen like you mean it
Ok, an argument implies you mostly talk but remind yourself to listen to your partner’s side of the story toon and when you listen – try to really hear. Besides having simple good manners to be gracious enough to really understand what someone else has to say, it will also give you time to perhaps cool off a bit, thus avoiding emotional explosions. Then try to accept that his viewpoint differs from yours, and this is okay. You can’t change how the other person feels about the situation, but when you are really present and you listen, you can easier come up with a harmonious compromise.
8. Leave the argument in the past and never try to resurrect it
Sometimes it’s all too tempting to fall back on old fights, and use them as the arguments for a new one. This, however, is one of the temptations we all should learn to be wise enough to resist. It’s unproductive, to say the least, and it makes it look like you’ve been holding grudges during all this time. Is that how you want to look in the eyes of your significant other? Leave old arguments in the past, where they belong. Then kiss, make up and be happy again.