What Your Fights Say about Your Relationship
How to Ease Arguing
Changing your fighting style comes down to the little things. And what better way to change your style than in the moment of the argument? Here are a few tips to make conflicts a smoother affair:
- Be precise and concise: “Men have a hard time reading women,” says Mandel, so it is important to get your message across in under two minutes so that he stays in the moment with you. Anything longer than that and he’s too occupied with trying to figure out what you mean rather than listening. Be sure to be specific. He can’t read your mind.
- Be understanding: “Timing is everything” says Mandel. If either one of you are stressed, the argument will turn into a monster. Postpone your discussion until both of you are calmer.
- Don’t think of winning versus losing: Winning should not even be a word you think of when arguing with your significant other. “A fight should never be an all-or-nothing competition,” says Kurland. Compromise is the key.
- Think before you react: Rather than letting whatever hurtful thing comes to your head spew out of your mouth during an argument, take a moment to think about what you’re about to say. Both parties need to have their “Information Traffic Cop” on duty, according to Epstein. This “Information Traffic Cop is the little person in your ear who decides whether what you hear is going to go to your brain for a logical reaction or your ego for an emotional reaction,” says Epstein.
- Take the time to listen: It is so easy to fly off the handle when you hear something you disagree with. But before you start a shouting match, take a moment to summarize your partner’s position in your head, Mandel says. What are they really saying? Can you see the matter from their perspective? Taking the time to do this can help stop a fight before it starts.
Hopefully, some of these tips will help you and your partner find common ground when the road gets rocky.
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