We all know that everyone argues - especially couples. We are sure that there is no perfect couple and that they all end up bickering once in a while. Couples are prone to fighting mostly due to expectations towards the other that were not met, and it would just simply drive them mad. To help you continue reaching your #RelationshipGoals, we are here to share with you some therapist approved ways to argue with your significant other healthily.
1. Think Before You Speak
When you’re fighting with your significant other, it may be tempting to say something hurtful, especially if you’re feeling hurt. But before you do so, pause and think about it first. Ask yourself, “Will this hurt my partner?” If the answer is yes, follow-up with this question, “Will saying it improve our relationship in any way?” If the answer is no, it’s probably best not to say it.
2. Avoid Raising Your Voice
Raising your voice is never a good method to solve anything, be it an argument with your partner or your friends. Therapists also agree that it’s not very useful, and in fact, it can even worsen typical relationship squabbles. First of all, it hurts feelings, and second, it makes you sound less logical. One therapist said that they advised couples to only whisper during fights, and it actually lessened the anger factor in their relationships.
3. Refrain From Any Kind Of Abuse
Any kind of abuse is unacceptable in a relationship, regardless if it’s verbal, emotional, mental, or physical. Even if you don’t touch your partner, you could still abuse them in other ways. Other kinds of violence, like breaking items and punching walls, are also not suitable for either partner. If it ever escalates to this point, therapists suggest seeking professional help.
4. Use Timeouts
Timeouts aren’t just for children. Even partners who are arguing may need timeouts, and therapists actually recommend them. When a couple is arguing about something that they can’t agree on, it may be best to call for a timeout so that they can both calm down. Once they are calm enough, that’s when they can finally think more clearly and thus, finish the argument in a respectful and collected manner.
5. Always Use “I” Rather Than “You”
According to therapists, using “I” instead of “you” helps a lot in relationships because it puts the pressure away from your partner. For example, it’s much better to say, “I’m feeling hurt” instead of “You hurt me” because the latter will only make your partner go on defense, which lowers the chances of you saying anything.
6. Never Use Breaking Up As A Threat
Remember, it’s never good to make a threat that you can’t follow through. How would you feel if your partner agreed? Plus, even if your partner disagreed with your warning, saying these things can have a lasting effect on your relationship. They may begin to feel insecure and think that it’s that easy to leave them, especially when you’re going through a rough patch.
7. Listening Instead Of Just Waiting To Speak
It’s only natural to defend ourselves when we’re being attacked. And arguments, of course, can make us want to go on the defensive. However, therapists say that it’s important to listen rather than just wait to speak. There’s a big difference too. Waiting to speak means you aren’t really thinking about what they’re saying, you’re only thinking of what you can say in return. Listening, on the other hand, means that you’re actually digesting and understanding what they mean.
8. Focus On Solving The Problem
Obviously, this is a must when going through a fight. But you’re going to be surprised at the number of couples who focus more on attacking the other person or defending themselves rather than solving the problem. Always keep in mind that you’re fighting not to hurt your beloved, but to solve a problem you’re having.
9. Don't Complain Too Much
Complaining is useful to some degree, but sometimes, it becomes too much that it’s no longer healthy. It’s better to either reduce your complaints or rephrase them so that they’re more like suggestions rather than complaints.
10. Ask Your Partner How You Can Improve
Instead of thinking of ways on how you can have the upper hand during fights, therapists say that the best course of action is to ask how you can improve to lessen future conflicts. Feedback is needed to grow in life continually, and therapists say that it’s also applicable to arguments in relationships.
11. Learn How To Compromise
Last but not the least, therapists agree that learning how to compromise is an essential skill that everyone in a relationship must possess. You entered a relationship with another person that you want to share your life with, so it’s only natural that you treat them like an extension of you too. And that means being selfless enough to compromise.