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12 Things You Need To Know When Having A Fight In Your Relationship

12 Things You Need To Know When Having A Fight In Your Relationship

No one wants to fight with their partner, but we all do, don’t we? When you’re so in love with a person and spend so much time building a life with them, you’re going to have some disagreements. Instead of letting these arguments get under your skin and throw your relationship off course, read these tips so you’ll be prepared to have a calmer, fairer fight in your relationship.

1. Avoid generalizations and be specific.

When you’re fighting, you often just say whatever’s on your mind without thinking of how it will sound to your partner. When you say, “You always do this,” or, “You never say that,” you’re making your partner out to be inconsiderate, like they keep making the same mistakes. Think before you speak, and take away the ‘you always’ and ‘you never’ qualifiers. These phrases put your partner on the defense and they will immediately come back with, “I don’t always…,” which will derail your argument. Reference specific times when your partner forgot to do or say something and only say these things, instead of making them feel like you’re dumping everything on them at once.

2. Set out to become closer, not to win.

It’s really hard to not want to win a fight. In fact, it’s one of my biggest problems. I think I’m right, and therefore I want to win and be proven right. But that’s not fair in a relationship. During a fight, you should be trying to understand your partner’s point of view. You’re having a disagreement because you don’t see eye to eye on an issue. You already know your opinion, so take time to listen to your partner. Once you hear their thoughts, you’ll feel closer to them. You’ll know them better, and can see things from their point of view in the future.

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    3. Negotiate and compromise.

    Instead of winning, try to make sure everyone gets what they want. Okay, that’s nearly impossible, but you can at least make sure each of you get a little something that you want. Compromising means you both give up something, but you both get something, and this will help move your relationship forward.

    4. Establish a plan to move forward.

    Once you discuss a compromise you can both live with, establish a plan to implement this compromise in your daily lives. When you both know what is expected, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to keep this fight from happening again. You can both follow the plan you mapped out and know that your partner will be happy with what’s being done to change the relationship.

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    5. Consider taking time to cool off.

    Fights won’t always be resolved quickly. Sometimes they can go on for hours, or even days! You’re advised to not go to bed angry, but sometimes it’s got to happen. Sleeping isn’t the worst thing to do during the middle of an argument, because when you wake up you might not feel as on guard and set in your ways. You don’t have to take an overnight break, though. Taking a few minutes apart to cool off and calm down will more than likely help put the fight, and your position in it, into perspective.

    6. Use humor to tone down an argument.

    Using humor during an argument is a really helpful tip because if you or your partner crack a joke, you’ll laugh, lighten the mood, and remember that you love this person because they make your life fun. Laughing during a fight can break the tension and make you realize that the fight is kind of ridiculous. Be careful with this tip, though, because if you’re having a very serious argument, cracking a joke might make you seem heartless, like you’re not as invested in finding a resolution as your partner is.

    7. Look at and touch your partner.

    It’s easy to be angry at someone if you’re not standing right in front of them or looking at them. When you want to have a serious discussion with your partner, sit down next to or across from them and frequently make eye contact. Looking deep into your love’s eyes will remind you how strongly you feel for them, and might take some of the edge off the disagreement. The same goes for touching; feeling your partner’s skin, realizing they’re a real person with flaws and emotions, will help keep you grounded instead of just hurling insults at them from across the room.

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    8. Respect your partner’s tears.

    Sometimes it’s frustrating when your partner cries mid-fight because the tears don’t seem to be accomplishing anything. You want to talk over your lover’s sobs and prove your opinion, or take that time to hit your point home and make them feel worse while they’re already crying. Don’t do any of those things, regardless of how angry or defeated those tears may make you feel. Sit down beside your partner and rub their back; the closeness and the sensitive touch will help ease their tears and might even take some tension out of the disagreement. If you can’t make yourself feel sensitive to their tears, then take this time to leave the room and cool off yourself. You both will feel more levelheaded once the crying is over.

    9. Don’t multitask – be attentive.

    No one ever has time for a fight, and no one ever wants to be engaged in one. But when you are, focus purely on the fight. Don’t pick up your phone and text friends or surf the web. Don’t wash dishes or hang clothes or do chores. Sit or stand with your partner and really focus on them as a person, as well as what both of you are saying and are trying to resolve in your relationship.

    10. Forget the past.

    It’s not fair to bring up past arguments or mistakes in your current disagreement, especially if the issue has already been forgiven. If you keep bringing up past problems, the argument may never end! Not to mention that thinking about the past will more than likely make you angrier, because even if you’ve forgiven the issues, you’re still thinking about past fights and that will only make you more eager to win the current disagreement.

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    11. Stay put.

    Unless you both agree to take a break and cool down, don’t walk away from the fight. Even if you’re just going to get a drink of water, stalking off without telling your partner looks like an act of aggression. Instead of staying put and discussing the problem, your partner will think that you’re already giving up and are not willing to talk.

    12. Don’t let it ruin the relationship.

    What happens if you can’t reach a compromise or you can’t let the issue go? At this point, stop fighting and think about damage control. How much do you value the relationship? Is it worth fighting this hard? If the problem is very important to you, then maybe it is worth ending the relationship. However, you shouldn’t go into the fight thinking you’ll break up because of it. Try to make it work. Most often, the fight will be petty in the scope of the bigger picture, and your love is so valuable that you’re willing to let something go just to stay with your partner. This isn’t failure; this isn’t losing. This is knowing what you value and what you want in your life.

    Featured photo credit: soukup via flickr.com

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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