Relationships aren’t always laughs and cuddles. There will be days filled with screams and tears, because unlike the couples you see in romance movies who are all about hugs, kisses, candlelit dinners, and late-night talks, real-life ones fight—and sometimes, it gets bad, as in really bad.
Arguments are an inevitable part of the relationship. No couple goes through no bad days. Most of us see these quarrels as a threat to the relationship. But the truth of the matter is, arguing may actually be good. It helps both of you grow and be accepting of each other’s differing takes on things.
Running away from difficult conversations won’t do you any good. According to author and relationship expert David Maxfield, disagreements should be dealt with head-on.
He said, “Ignoring the disagreements doesn’t work, and turning disagreements into fights doesn’t either. The key to a successful relationship is how you handle the inevitable disagreements. Those who handle them with honesty, frankness, respect, and love are far more successful than those who don’t.”
There are many reasons couples argue, but it’s not about when and why you’re having an argument. What matters is how you handle it. There’s a healthy way to go about disagreements and avoid ugly arguments in relationships.
How to Avoid Ugly Arguments in Relationships
Here are some pieces of advice on how to handle conflicts and avoid ugly arguments in relationships you must seriously keep in mind the next time you and your partner get into a fight.
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It’s always the number one rule. Pause, don’t speak, and just listen. And by listen, that means as you hear every word they say, try to understand them. Try to find out what they’re exactly angry about, find out all there is to find out about the issue. Listen to their side of the story and understand where they’re coming from.
2. Don’t yell
Raising your voice does not make you appear superior; if anything, it’s the dumbest way to try to win a fight. It’s true, when you’re mad, you can’t help but speak louder than you usually do. But if you control your temper and calm yourself enough to gather your thoughts before you open your mouth, you two can resolve this without yelling at each other.
Dr. Barton Goldsmith of Psychology Today shared that some couples resolve their conflicts faster with whisper.
He said, “It’s amazing how issues of hurt feelings or differences can be resolved with a whisper. I counsel couples who are yellers to only communicate with a whisper and it greatly reduces the anger factor in their relationships.”
3. Avoid name-calling and going violent
Don’t act like a preschooler and start calling your partner names. Avoid banging the doors, breaking plates, and throwing all sorts of things. No matter how heated it becomes, keep your cool and just talk. You are both grown-ups, so solve the matter the grown-up way.
4. Don’t stockpile
Talk about the matter at hand. There’s no need to bring up issues from years ago or dig parts of your partner’s past that don’t have anything to do with the current problem. Stockpiling only leads to more toxic conversations. To avoid ugly arguments in relationships, leave everything that has gone in the past. If you really want to talk about them, do it some other time.
5. Know when to surrender
It is normal for one to think that conflict means you have to make a point that is stronger than your partner’s. You have to win as if this is actually a real battle. But that’s not the right way to go about this. Concede, if you have to. This does not mean you have to give up your arguments when they’re very much valid. You have to know that both of your points are valid because they are the result of real experiences.
Remember, if winning is all that you want, you will always have something to say and the argument will never end. Make understanding be your goal. Come up with a solution that meets both of your needs.
Lastly, do not hesitate to apologize. You sure have said things, you both have, so learn to say sorry. Acknowledging your mistakes and seeking ways to avoid them and letting your partner see that is one of the ways to rebuild trust in a relationship.
Dating coach and Fix That Shit: A Couples Guide to Getting Past the Sticky Stuff author Chantal Heide says, “Saying ‘I’m sorry’ should be a tactic for clearing all the emotional toxicity from your relationship, so be sure you’re getting it right.”
Arguments are hard to avoid, but they shouldn’t be too hard to handle if your main goal is to actually know your partner’s real thoughts and feelings. During your time together, you will go through ups and downs. But with proper communication, trust, and love, you will survive anything, from the most trivial misunderstandings to the most serious arguments.
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