Arguments occur even in good relationships. Find out how to have a healthy argument with your partner by learning these handy tips.
If I had mastered the art of arguing a couple years ago, I think many of my relationships (even with friends and family) would be in a different place right now. I am overly emotional and it seems that the older I get, the more I wear my heart on my sleeve.
Many of us are like this, as soon as a confrontation occurs we get defensive and either turn into a Tasmanian devil, breakdown into a puddle of sadness or we do not react at all. None of these reactions bring the best results or solutions to the real problems. Arguments are inevitable and the sooner you learn to handle conflict in the correct way, the happier your relationship will become.
Arguments bring about pain, resentment and discord in every household and let’s face it, some of us Trinis hold a very passionate nature or (for lack of a better term) we tend to have a “hot mouth”. That mouth of ours can get us in trouble at times, encouraging us to often say things we don’t mean in the heat of an argument. We call names and even use obscene language to get our points across. What do we really expect to gain from that sort of behaviour? If you call the love of your life, every bad name in the book when angered, how can you even face that person after? Love is supposed to be kind, so, the pattern of thinking it is acceptable to degrade your partner just because you are arguing, must stop as soon as possible. You cannot take back what is felt after hurtful words are said, so do not resort to name calling, labelling and the constant throwing back of past bad experiences. So, how can we move forward to have healthier discussions and resolve arguments?
Take a 10-minute timeout.
Say, “I love you and I just need 10 minutes to calm down,” especially if the conflict is beginning to get hot and low blows are being made. Take that time to think and allow you and your partner to calm down. Truly think about the issue at hand and how it can be effectively resolved. Some may also decide to take a walk or a gym workout to help their frame of mind - that is acceptable once the conversation continues and is not ignored for a long period of time.
Learn how to make requests instead of complaints.
Sometimes, the problem and the reason you aren’t receiving the desired results is not what you are asking for, but how you are asking for it. Be careful with your tone and instead of spewing orders at your partner, make suggestions in a loving voice. For instance, “You never do the dishes, I swear you are the worst!” can be turned into, “ Hey babe, can you help do the dishes today? I would really appreciate it.” Words make a huge difference if used correctly. Sometimes you need to sell the honey if you want to gain the sweetness.
If the same argument is occurring over small matters then you need to root out the bigger problem.
Why does your partner bicker at the same time every day or why do they always have a problem with a certain person in your life? Maybe they need time to unwind after work and you are excited to talk their ears off...nothing 15 minutes of quiet time can’t fix. As for the person they seem to dislike, have a conversation simply listening to their thoughts and concerns. Couples should have dinner at least once a week or set aside a small amount of alone time to talk about life.
Learn how to say sorry!
I know this is hard but trust me, compassion is contagious. Being “wrong and strong” only makes your partner hold feelings of frustration and hate towards you. Grow up and learn to be accountable for your wrongs, apologise and ensure it is heartfelt. Do not give a pitiful apology that appears to be meaningless and forced. Even if the person is wrong and you may have said something hurtful during the argument, be the bigger person and apologise for saying the hurtful comments. Maybe that will change the tone and mood and they will follow suit by admitting their wrongs. Lead by example if you want to open the door to change.
Feelings and emotions are a tricky thing to control when arguments occur but with time, patience and practice, only improvements should be on the horizon. Love and respect your partner even on tough days. don’t allow angry words to taint happy hearts.