How many times have we started a conversation off with a “I don’t want to argue with you,” and then it turns into a knock down drag out? While fighting with your significant other is a given, it’s also necessary for a relationship to grow – or par for the course, right? But some, if not most, arguments are useless and can be avoided. Going to bed angry with your spouse or loved one is the worst and further propels the anger when you wake up the next morning not having resolved the issue. Why go to work piping hot and one irked nerve away from boiling over when you can talk it out? How long do the silent treatments have to last? Surely, this is no way to get your point across so why not stop adding fuel, and fight fire with water?
That’s the beauty of communication. What’s even more beautiful is knowing how to stop a tiff before it starts, regardless of the severity of the issue. At the end of the day, beefin’ with your boo is trivial since tomorrow is promised to no one and that’s why it’s so important to part ways for the day in peace. Take a look at these tips to avoid the loathsome lover’s spat!
1.) Soften Your Approach – who hates that already aggressive toned “we need to talk.” Ugh. The other person is already gearing up for battle … not a good starting point. Pose a question, “hey babe, can we talk?” Or, “I’ve got a few things I’ve been wanting to talk to you about, you got a minute?” This is setting the stage for equal engagement and the likelihood of getting a productive response is greater.
2.) Don’t Devalue – patience is key! When you’re pouring your heart out, expressing your feelings or stating your position, the last thing you want to hear is, “that is SO stupid,” or “what you’re saying makes NO sense,” or “what are you talking about?” Phrases like these make for an immediate shut down. Never make your loved one feel as though their thoughts and feelings are trivial and invalid. Try this instead, “help me understand where you’re coming from,” or “please explain further.” Yea, it’s like pulling teeth, but you want your loved one to feel comfortable expressing themselves to you. Again, patience.
3.) Take a Breather – in the heat of the moment it is so easy to be combative, fly off at the mouth and say mean-spirited things you don’t mean. It’s okay to have a problem and it’s okay to let it be known, but hollering with your arms folded, eye-rolling and not letting your partner get a word in edgewise is not communicating! It’s a turn off … a COMPLETE turn off. Back off and breath for a few, let your loved one know, “I’m hot right now. Give me moment to collect my thoughts.” What you’re displaying without saying it is, “I don’t want to fight.”
4.) Listen – when your partner says, “can I finish? Will you let me finish please?” This is no bueno. Let your lady/man speak his/her mind. Who cares how long it takes! Allow the venting process to take place and perhaps when he/she is finished you won’t have to say much at all. Listening to your partner is just as much a part of the communication process as speaking. Sometimes just hearing him/her out is all it takes to quell a dispute.
5.) Drop the Defense –Team “US” is ideal but when there’s a dispute, there are two teams: Team Me and Team You. The both of you cannot be in defense mode if you want resolution. Somebody has to play offense. Somebody has to be “the bigger person.” It’s easy to react and take part in the emotional whirlwind that suddenly came sweeping through the room, what sense does it make to go a-whirling with it? Try for this in a soothing tone “hey, whoa! Baby, calm down. Relax, have a seat. Let’s talk about this.”
6.) Find the Root of the Problem – the fact that you left your socks in the middle of the floor or forgot to flush the toilet is not the real reason that you’re in the throws of a battle. Get to the root of the issue by refusing to participate in the trivial bickering. It’s not the socks or the gift in the toilet that’s got him/her on tilt! Ask your partner or yourself, “what’s the real problem?” “Is there a deeper issue that needs to be confronted?” Once you figure it out, apply the measures listed above.
7.) Agree to Disagree Respectfully – in a perfect world we would see eye to eye all the time, but we all know that’s not the case. Instead of approaching the situation expecting compliance, just shoot for understanding. You simply cannot convince someone to see it your way. It’s okay to disagree, explain why you do and find a happy medium. You can save yourself the exhaustion by looking for ways to work together to reach a hub of solid communication. After a while it becomes effortless.
8.) Take Ownership – if you’re wrong, admit it. Don’t blame your partner or his or her actions for your behaving like a child or being irrational and immature. “I did that because you do xyz.” Why do we have to duck and dodge the B.S. BEFORE addressing the real issue? Be responsible and say, ” hey, you know what? I was wrong for that. This is why I did it. I understand why you’re mad right now. I’m listening.” If it’s warranted, take that verbal lashing! If you F’d up, you F’d up! And now, by default, you have to listen to your lady/man fuss about it. It happens to the best of us, we all have to sit in the hot seat from time to time. It’s okay.
9.) Ask Questions – a good Q & A can be really helpful and eye-opening. Ask simple and candid questions. As corny as it sounds ask your partner, “how did that make you feel?” “Why are you crying?” “What can I do to help us move past this?” This will give him/her a chance to verbalize specific needs and wants and it gives you a chance to make it clear how you plan to deliver.
10.) Sex – self-explanatory. Nothing like some good lovin’ to quiet a storm in the making. But here’s the deal, just because you had a good session doesn’t mean the problem is fixed! Sex is just a leeway to better communication! Sex is a stress reliever and once you’ve relieved some tension, talking things out is all but effortless! (BOSSIP)