As cliché as it may sound, happy moments with our loved ones are in fact quite precious, and losing them to arguments is a real shame. Of course, being intimately involved with another human being means that there will be the occasional argument. Fighting with your significant other can be healthy sometimes, provided that you’re arguing in a relatively mature, productive manner. After the argument’s resolution, you may even feel closer as you observed your bond withstand the tough stuff. But when fighting seems to be happening constantly, you have to cut back for the sake of the relationship. Read on to learn a few tips for putting a stop to the bickering.
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1. Wait it Out
It’s certainly natural for little annoyances with a significant other to pile up. But, if you want to cut down on fighting, the old saying to pick your battles holds true. A helpful way to determine what’s worth mentioning and what’s just best to forget about is to institute a waiting period. If you find yourself getting annoyed at one or a few smaller comments or bad habits of your significant other, don’t pressure yourself to determine how to deal with them (or whether to deal with them at all) right away. Give yourself 24 hours, and if it’s still bugging you, then bring it up in a constructive manner. You’ll likely find that you end up forgetting about a ton of what seemed like issues at the time, leading to more blissful moments and less tension.
2. Stay Present
The advice to stay present during an argument with your partner is twofold. First, you need to be in the “now” to really be able to listen to the points that the other person is trying to make, which is essential to ending a feud. If you’re letting your mind drift to your to-do list or places you’d rather be, you won’t be able to fully process your partner’s feelings, meaning that the same issue (or similar ones) could crop up in the future. Staying present also means only focusing on what caused the issue in this particular instance. Often, we will get upset and it causes us to conjure up numerous other situations in which this same person disappointed or angered us. Unsurprisingly, this further upsets all parties involved and extends arguments. Make a real attempt to stick to one issue at a time. If a past argument is still haunting you after the current fight is over, bring it up later in a calm setting for a real chance at finding a true resolution.
3. Turn the Volume Down
If you’d like to change a certain behavior of your partner’s or address a comment that they made, try to keep your voice fairly neutral when doing so. A loud, angry tone of voice automatically puts the other person on the defensive and will more quickly escalate what may not have even been that big of a deal in the first place.
4. Look Inward
Consider the fact that certain behaviors or comments from your partner may elicit a negative response from you because they touch on your own insecurities or aspects of yourself that you don’t like. In these cases, take care to recognize that it’s a personal problem which hopefully can be worked on through self-reflection, journaling, or talk therapy — but it’s not something for which your partner should have to take the hit. We are all responsible for our own mental health, so just be aware of ways in which your own anxieties may be starting arguments.
5. Give the Benefit of the Doubt
While this can certainly be tough when you’re angry, it makes arguments easier to resolve if you think of your significant other as doing the best they can at the time. If you’re focused on the negative, then that is what you will find — doing a disservice to your partner, yourself and the relationship. When you feel yourself about to react angrily, think of some alternative scenarios that could explain the behavior in question that has nothing to do with them not caring about you. It can also help to think of some recent instances in which they made you feel loved or appreciated, as well as the qualities you love about them and the reasons why you enjoy being with them.
6. When Things are Good, Celebrate it!
During good times when your partner is making you feel loved and appreciated, be sure to recognize that and do the same for them. Everyone feels loved in different ways whether that’s verbally by having favors done for them or affectionate touching. Make it your mission to figure out how your partner feels most loved so that you can do those things for them. After all, love is always cause for celebration!