Every relationship, no matter how healthy, has arguments. But arguments can actually have a positive effect, as long as you make them good ones.
When it comes to arguments, it’s not the fight itself that really matters. What’s really important is how you handled the argument and how you act afterwards. Find out how to have good arguments with these top tips...
Get some space
The worst thing that you can do after an argument is to try and continue the conversation straightaway. The best thing is to walk away. Give each other some time and space to process the argument separately. This might mean going into different rooms or even sleeping on it. This time apart will give you perspective and allow you both to decide what’s best to do next.
Identify your triggers
Take time to consider how you were feeling in the run up to your argument. Did you have a bad day at work? Fall out with a friend? Had some bad news? It’s useful to take all of these things into account so that you can work out whether you simply overreacted to something that your partner did, or you were really justified in getting angry.
Work out why you argued
The things that we fight about are often not the real cause of our arguments. If your partner is held up at work and will be late for your anniversary dinner, for example, then you might be angry because they continually let you down, rather than the fact that they’re late this time. If you aren’t really honest with yourself about why you and your partner argue, then you’ll never be able to fully resolve your issues and will be doomed to repeat the same arguments over and over again.
Accept your emotions
Many of us are actually afraid of expressing emotions like anger or sadness. We’re often brought up to feel ashamed of these feelings – to think that they reflect badly on us and our personalities. The truth is that differences between people are inevitable. In fact, it’d be pretty boring if you and your partner agreed on everything all of the time! It’s important to accept that you will get angry and have arguments but what’s important is how you resolve them.
Have productive arguments
When discussing how you feel with your partner, use ‘I’ instead of assuming your partner’s feelings. Instead of saying, ‘You always get really moody in the evenings’ for example, try ‘When you don’t talk to me, I feel shut out.’ Talk about one issue at a time and listen to what your partner is saying. This can be really difficult in an argument when you want to express how you feel and what you’re trying to say. One of the easiest ways to show that you’re listening to your partner is to repeat what they’re saying back to them. It can make a really big difference.
Whatever happens, when you do have an argument, don’t panic! After all, people with strong opinions are attractive, especially when they can also listen to others, and arguments can help to clear the air. Just remember that you should always learn something from an argument, if you don’t then you’re just wasting energy.