Relationship advice comes in many forms, whether it’s suggestions on how to make your partner feel special or suggestions on how to keep the fighting that comes with a relationship to a minimum. Let’s face it – arguments happen. It is inevitable that, at some point in the course of your relationship, you and your significant other will disagree on something.
We’re all human beings whose emotions get the better of us on occasion, so it can be hard not to be hurtful at times. However, there are ways to participate in a fight with your mate and not cause long term harm to your relationship.
Thinking Things Through
First and foremost, know when to take a deep breath. In the heat of the moment it can be very easy to blunder ahead, saying lots of things you will later regret. If you can learn how to pause and think before speaking, you’re already a lot closer to saving face in a sour situation. Say you and your S.O. are fighting, and you’re about to accuse him or her of some sort of long term fault. Before you speak, take a breather and think about how to word things. This is quite possibly the best relationship advice there is – waiting until you’ve thought something through before you speak up.
Instead of saying “you always forget something when you go to the store,” shift the wording so it is less accusatory. Make it about how your feelings are hurt, not how your partner is a screw up. For example, try saying “When you forget to bring something back that I’ve asked for, I feel like I’m not being listened to, and that hurts my feelings.” Allow your partner to explain themselves fully without interrupting to interject your opinions.
The Art Of Compromise
Once they’ve said their piece, tell them you understand their viewpoint and suggest a compromise. In the case of our forgetful friend, suggesting that you make a list together before he/she runs errands would be a good solution. Also, be sure to praise any good things the offender did do, i.e. “Even though I’m upset that you forgot item X, I do appreciate the fact that you went to the store for me. I know you’re trying to help.” By recognizing the positive, you not only make the other person feel better, but you also remind yourself that they have lots of traits worth loving. That can take the edge off your own anger as well as theirs.
Focus On The Issue At Hand
Another key thing to avoid when arguing is dredging up lots of other problems. If you’re having a small argument like the one referenced above, that’s not the appropriate time to bring up larger issues. Saying “You always forget something when you go to the store, not unlike how you forgot my birthday two years in a row,” will only escalate your fight. Stick to the topic at hand, then address related problems at a later time when you’ve both calmed down.
Don’t Be Afraid To Take Time To Cool Off
Speaking of having time to cool off, never underestimate the power of calling a time out on your argument. Sometimes the only way to keep from having a total melt down is to honestly admit that you need some time to be by yourself and think before you keep talking. There’s no shame in telling your significant other that you need to take a break so you don’t say something you’ll both regret later.
If you follow this relationship advice the next time you and your boyfriend or girlfriend get into an argument, there could be a lot less drama as a result. It’s important that you always remember that arguments are bound to happen every once and awhile, but they’re not the end of the world and they most certainly don’t mean an inevitable break-up. If you and your significant other take a little effort to fight right, everything will work out in the long run.