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Step-By-Step Guide To Making Up After Any Argument

Step-By-Step Guide To Making Up After Any Argument

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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