Arguing is not always a bad thing, believe it or not. It’s not whether you argue with your partner, but how you argue, and more importantly how you reconcile after an argument. It’s healthy to have limits, say no and disagree. The most important thing is to be respectful. If your arguments involve swearing, hurtful criticizing or any other aggressive behaviour it’s best to see a therapist for help.
Tips to argue better:
1. Explain your emotions.
We often come across offensively when we express feelings we’ve kept hidden, so make an effort to share your feelings. It will help your partner better understand your needs and emotional triggers.
If you’re upset about something, explain exactly why you’re upset. Sharing the reason behind your emotions encourages your partner to listen. If you hide how you feel or withhold explanations for why you’re upset, your needs won’t be met and you could end up blaming your partner for things out of their control.
2. Argue when you have time.
Quality time is the perfect time to mention something that upset you. If you were to bring something up on your way to work in the morning, you likely wouldn’t have time to fully discuss the issue. So try to wait until dinner or ask your partner to go for a walk with you. The benefit of waiting for the right time is that you’ll both be more at ease and less likely to fight.
3. Release your attachment to the issue.
If you’ve tried to discuss an issue with your partner and you didn’t get the response you wanted, let it go. Accept that you were upset and release your desire to get the exact response you want. Try to see your role in the issue. Letting go is not always easy, but the alternative is that you’d be continually fighting about the same issues. Learn to pick your battles.
Also remember to drop the argument as soon as you feel physically agitated. If your heart starts beating rapidly during an argument, you’re experiencing a fight or flight response and it’s best not to continue until you’re calm. Research shows that blood rushes away from your brain and to your limbs during the fight or flight response, meaning you’re less likely to problem solve with less blood flowing to your brain!
4. Reconnect through touch.
Touch calms the agitated body. To reconnect after you’ve had an argument, give your partner a hug or touch them in some way. Touch helps you feel emotionally safe, secure and close again. It’s a simple gesture reminding your partner of the love you share. It shows that despite your disagreements, you’re committed to being emotionally close.