Arguments happen in all relationships. They help people to communicate their feelings and they can resolve problems – but only if they end well. Sometimes arguments can end badly, even when you love and care for the other person. This can be very upsetting, but it doesn’t have to be this way; check out our step-by-step guide to making up with someone after an argument.
1. Wait until you feel calm before you speak again
If you try to talk to the other person while you are still angry, you will struggle to really listen to what they are saying. You will still be focused on your feelings of upset or anger, so you are more likely to become angry. Instead, wait until both of you have calmed down so that you can openly discuss your opinions.
2. Separate your emotions from the issue
Often emotions become entangled in the actual issue of the fight, but it is important to separate these feelings. You may feel angry and sad, but that doesn’t mean that the other person’s opinion isn’t valid. Remember that your emotions are separate to the issue, so that you can have an open and frank discussion about the argument and why it happened.
3. Wait until the right time to talk
There are right and wrong times to discuss serious subjects like arguing. Don’t bring up the issue while the other person is at work or with their family – they won’t be able to give the conversation their full attention, which could cause more troubles, so try to wait until you both have the time to talk.
4. Begin the conversation with an apology for the argument
It is likely that you are both feeling hurt, so start with an apology to acknowledge their feelings. This gives the other person the chance to apologize also, which could resolve the argument. The conflict still needs to be addressed, but it is better to make-up first so that you both come from a place of positivity.
5. Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking
Assuming something about someone will only make an argument worse, not better. It can seem like you aren’t trying to see their side of things, and it can result in miscommunication. Give the other person an opportunity to explain themselves so that you don’t need to read between the lines.
6. Give each other the chance to talk
Let each other speak without interruption. If you have a question you want to ask or a point you want to make, wait until the other person has finished speaking. It shows that you respect them and are trying to see their perspective – but if you interrupt them, they are more likely to interrupt you too, causing more conflict.
7. Say “I” instead of “You”
Focus on explaining your feelings, rather than attacking the other person for making you feel that way. If you attack them they are likely to feel defensive and angry, and they won’t try to see the situation from your perspective.
For instance, saying “I feel like I struggle to speak up sometimes, and if I am interrupted during an argument I am more likely to stop talking altogether” is better than saying “You always interrupt me, it is so rude.”
8. Try to empathize with each other
The best way to make up after an argument is to acknowledge the other person’s feelings and opinions. Their opinions are just as valid as yours, and when you show that you care about their opinions they are more likely to do the same. Even if you don’t agree with their point, you can still love and respect them as a person – and that includes respecting their opinions.