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Fighting Can Help Improve Relationships, Even If You Don’t Feel Like It

Fighting Can Help Improve Relationships, Even If You Don’t Feel Like It

When we’re young we think of the perfect relationship. Everyone is always smiling and things are going well. Your partner knows exactly what to say and do to make you feel good and vice versa. Those of us who have been in relationships know better. Couples can and will fight for just about anything. The key is to understand that fighting can help improve relationships. Here’s how.

1. You air your dirty laundry

improve relationships

    An argument may start over anything. You two may not know what to do for dinner. One of you may have taken that turn a little fast and loose while out driving. Problems in a relationship are like dynamite and little things like not deciding on a place to eat are nothing more than a fuse. Eventually, these little things will open up the table to what is really going wrong. Once you can identify what’s really going on, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to fix it.

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    2. You will be more comfortable around one another

    The classic sign that a couple is comfortable with each other is when the “embarrassing” bodily functions fly even when the other person is in the room. Believe it or not, fighting can actually do the same thing. Couples who fight are not only working out their issues but also showing each other how they deal with problems. It forces you to talk about yourselves and what you think. By the end of it you’ll know the other person way better than you did before and vice versa because both of you will be expressing yourselves, often for the first time.

    3. You will have confirmation that both of you want the relationship to work

    improve relationships

      People will fight for things they believe in. It doesn’t matter if they’re joining the military to fight for their country or shouting at you across the kitchen table to fight for your relationship. A lot of people think that anger means discontent but it actually means that you care so much that when something goes wrong, you get upset about it. Fighting with your partner shows them that you’re upset and that you want to fix things to make them better. If you don’t want to fight or if your partner doesn’t want to fight to make a relationship right, then there might be a problem.

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      4. You and your partner will restore your sanity

      Anger means that you care. Unfortunately, being angry can also drive you insane if you don’t express it. Bottling up those kinds of emotions can be dangerous. It can cause you to have irrational thoughts and eventually you start thinking things that aren’t true. Letting out that anger can help reset your insanity button and get those negative thoughts out of your head. Not fighting and letting those feelings get bottled up is never good. Ever.

      5. You will get an honest answer for once

      improve relationships

        Emotions flying around like witches on broomsticks often means that the truth is also flying around. Have you ever noticed that people in fights make statements they wouldn’t otherwise make. “I never liked it when you did this.” Couples in an argument often air their dirty laundry but more importantly they’re doing it honestly. Those small things you keep bottled up and lie about (“Sure, honey, I don’t mind watching Sex in the City…again”) can be set free because angry people no longer care about the consequences. As long as you’re not hiding anything ridiculous like cheating or something irreparable, chances are that your little issues are fixable.

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        6. You get to have sex

        As long as your relationship survives the fight (and chances are that it will) you get to have make up sex. By the time the argument is over everyone is stressed out. Things are a little tense. There are few better ways our species has access to than a good rumble between the sheets to get some of that tension out. We’re not saying you should pick a fight but plenty of people who are in relationships go through a dry spell that ends after a fight.

        7. You get a reminder of what you’re doing wrong

        improve relationships

          Relationships take work. Sometimes you have to stop doing something or start doing something to keep your partner happy. Not doing those things can result in a fight. During that fight you will be reminded (many times) of what you’re doing wrong. This can seem tedious and awful but sometimes we need a push in the right direction because we don’t always know what the other person wants. A good fight can put those needs into focus.

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          8. You can understand yourself better

          I can’t even remember how many epiphanies I’ve had during fights anymore. It doesn’t always happen but sometimes you are just wrong. It happens to all of us and there is nothing to be ashamed of. The problem is that you don’t know that you’re wrong until someone points it out. In today’s society, telling someone they’re wrong is fighting words. The important part is admitting that you’re wrong after you get caught being wrong. Otherwise this entire point is worthless.

          Of course, we are coming at this from a specific point of view. Arguing and fighting is healthy but only if it’s done in a specific way. If your partner is hitting you, abusing you, bullying you, or otherwise hurting you or making you feel unsafe, you should do something about that immediately. There is no fixing that kind of behavior. Otherwise, keep these tips in mind the next time your partner blows up at you (or vice versa) and prepare to work on your relationship the old fashioned way.

          Featured photo credit: No Cookie via img1.wikia.nocookie.net

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          More by this author

          Joseph Hindy

          A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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          Published on May 18, 2021

          How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

          How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

          We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

          The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

          Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

          Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

          Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

          There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

          Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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          Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

          We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

          Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

          A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

          The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

          Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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          Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

          Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

          Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

          While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

          Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

          These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

          Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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          Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

          Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

          Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

          Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

          Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

          Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

          As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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          This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

          Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

          Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

          These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

          Actions Speak Louder Than Words

          Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

          Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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          Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

          More Tips Improving Listening Skills

          Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

          Reference

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