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5 Ways To Stop Fights In Relationships

5 Ways To Stop Fights In Relationships

When you experience fights on a consistent basis, your relationship can fall apart and the connection between you and your partner will break. Small arguments about who was supposed to do the dishes or take the kids to soccer practice can lead to big arguments that end in an all-out screaming match.

I know this is not what you want in your relationship. You want to be able to handle differences and misunderstandings in a way that is calm, collective and respectful. If you are committed to having a healthy and happy relationship, implementing ways to stop fights from ruining your relationship is key. Stress, frustration and differences between you and your partner are inevitable. It’s all about how you handle these differences as a team.

1. Be aware and understand your differences. 

Biologically, men and women are born differently. Men handle stress much differently than women. John Gray, the author of Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, explains the differences between men and women and how we can have loving, respectful and happy relationships with our partner.

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Personally, this book has helped my relationship with my husband. I understand his differences and he understands my differences. When men are stressed about something, they would prefer taking some quiet time alone to think and resolve their problems while women prefer talking about their problems in order to find solutions. This is just a one example. Without knowing these differences between men and women, we will continue to get into fights which can and may very well ruin the relationship.

Take the time to read this book and share your thoughts with your partner. Learn how you and your partner are different. It’s important to know how you’re different because you will become more mindful with how you handle arguments. This book has helped me better understand myself and better understand my husband. Implement the wisdom in the book, and you will notice your arguments decrease.

2. Take a “time out.”

When you are in a fight with your partner, you may say something that you don’t really mean. Because you are emotional and upset, it can be easy to just say whatever you feel without thinking if it will hurt your partner.

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When you catch yourself getting too emotional during a fight, take a step back and have a “time out”. It’s better to take time to cool off instead of continuing the fight and saying something you don’t really mean. When my husband and I experience an argument and I find myself getting too emotional, I take a step back and say that I need a “time out” from the argument. If my husband is experiencing the fight or flight response, he usually says that he needs some time to cool off. We wouldn’t get anywhere if we continued to point the fingers at each other and prove our point of view.

When you and your partner experience this, it is best to take a “time out” for a little while and get back to each other when the both of you are relaxed and calm. Maybe you would like to go for a walk or read. Find something else to do that will relax you so that you can get rid of the fight or flight response and think more rationally.

If one of you still wants to talk and not take a “time out”, it’s important for the person that wants a “time out” to express to their partner, “I love you. I will be back. I just need some time to cool off before I say something that I will regret.” You need to reassure your partner that you love them and that you will be back. When you have a fight with your partner, it’s crucial you make sure that you don’t do or say anything that you will regret. To avoid this from happening, make sure that you take a “time out” and reconnect when you are calm and collected.

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3. Open your ears and step into their shoes. 

The beauty about the human race is that we are all unique and have minds of our own. We are able to create our own philosophy and how we view life.

With that being said, your partner may have a different philosophy than you about different aspects of life. It’s important that you respect your partner’s philosophy. You can’t force your partner to have the same philosophy as you. A lot of couples try to change their partner, but wind up getting disappointed.

The only person you can change is yourself. Don’t be that person that has the philosophy of “My way or the highway.” Open your ears and step into your partner’s shoes when you are experiencing a disagreement. Open your ears and listen. Listen from their perspective. You may not agree with what they have to say, but be respectful and hear them out. When you are in a relationship, it’s not just about you. It’s about “us.” You have your philosophy and your partner has their philosophy. Be a good listener and step into their shoes.

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4. Decide today that you will not raise your voice.

It can be easy to raise your voice when you are in a fight with your partner. Because you are emotional and upset, raising your voice to prove your point can become second nature. This does nothing but add more fire to the flames. And the more fire there is, the harder it will be to put it out.

Decide and commit today that you will not raise your voice during an argument or disagreement. The last thing that you want to do is to hurt your partner. Be conscientious with the tone of your voice. If you catch yourself raising your voice, stop and lower your tone of voice. This can be a challenge, especially if you are experiencing the fight or flight response. Be more mindful and take a step back when you notice your voice raising. Not only will your partner appreciate this, but you are creating a good habit of not raising your voice.

5. Explore and get to the root of the hidden issues.

Does it seem like when you get into an argument with your partner, you fight about little things like not cleaning the litter box or watching too much TV? If the answer is yes, it’s likely there is a deeper issue in your relationship to blame.

A lot of couples try to fix surface-level issue such as jealousy, financial stress, communication, sex, religion, friends, children or in-laws. When you fix the surface level issues, the arguments may decrease, but only temporarily until a trigger causes another argument.

If you only fix surface level issues, you are not getting to the root of the problem. There is usually a deeper issue that needs to be resolved. You will continue to experience small arguments, which can ultimately ruin your relationship. Some hidden issues may include lack of affection, control, commitment, acceptance, trust, honesty, respect, and integrity. A way to stop fights in relationships is to get to the root of the problem and work as a team to resolve the issue.

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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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