Arguments in relationships are particularly draining because you’re fighting with someone who knows you best, and has the ability – as someone you love – to push you to the extremes of your emotions – good and bad. Whenever possible to avoid an argument with your SO, you should, but for those times when you just can’t let it slide – here’s how to guarantee you get your point across.
If you’re wrong, it’s not worth it
Set the tone
If there’s an issue you want to address and you’re concerned it may turn into a fight, set the tone by initiating the conversation when you are both calm and relaxed, with time to spare. No one ever won an argument by stoking the fire the moment their SO walked in the door, or publicly causing a scene and triggering the other person’s defenses.
Body language speaks louder than words
A great rule of thumb is to mimic the other person’s body language, creating a feeling of being in sync and encouraging the other person to relax. This is also a great practice for truly understanding your partner, as we often tend to overlook clear signals being given through another person’s body language. So get fluent, and let your body do the talking!
Don’t stutter or ramble on
Avoid using the word “you”
While your SO may be at fault, they will tune you out if they begin to feel attacked from the get-go. Instead of pointing fingers, explain your reasoning, your feelings and where your reactions are stemming from in a way that looks at the bigger picture, not just a cause for blame.
Stick to the subject or risk getting sidetracked
Veering off topic is a good way to get tangled up in a fight without any idea how you both got there. Keep in mind: the goal is resolution, not retaliation for every wrong you’ve ever felt in the relationship.
A tie is a win
Generally speaking, most issues in relationships stem from situations where, to some degree, both people are to blame. If you can reconcile this fact and take responsibility for your respective share of the problem, then you can move forward in a positive way. If you can both walk away feeling like you’ve been heard, then that’s the best kind of win.
Eye contact is critical
Don’t be the only voice in the room
It takes two people to make it work, and everyone deserves a turn at the mic. Open the discussion to both what it is you're saying, and what it is they're hearing, and you might be surprised at what you learn.
Know when to call it quits
A happy and healthy relationship takes compromise and communication – know when to call it quits and get back to the good stuff.