When we argue with our mate we do so from our own point of view. This is how we are as individuals, trying to get people to see our side. When we get our feelings hurt some of us think about what was done to us, and then we lash out to the person that hurt us.
This reaction is common in relationships, but it hurts people. I have worked with many couples who are pretty much wired similarly. They both want to get the other person to hear how they were hurt. They are really good at being mad at the other person and trying to get their attention. Only when they are both doing this, they create a war between them.
Lashing Out When Upset Harms Us Both
How many of us have created wars in our relationships? Many, many, many of us. But the truth of what we are after is trying to be understood. We do what we know how to do to tell the person we are upset, but we don’t achieve that goal.
If we were to analyze our experience, we might be able to see that getting loud and angry always signals to the other that you are upset. If the other person did not feel something too, then they might just be able to take what is happening from you and not get upset.
But you might have to be a saint in order to be unmoved. When upset is thrown at another person, the person who is the target feels attacked and then they get going. Two people trying to get the other person to understand them when they are in the heat of their discomfort is like trying to stop an ice cube from melting on a hot sidewalk. It is impossible.
Acting Out in Anger is a Habit You Can Outgrow
In a calmer situation, both individuals can probably understand that their energy and their loud comments don’t help the situation. The trick however is to learn how to do a lot less when upset. And that is a problem for many of us.
If we grew up getting mad when we were hurt, we will get mad when we are grown. If we grow up staying silent when we are upset, we will stay silent when we are an adult. That’s just what we do with our feelings and our habits.
And there is nothing wrong with how we are, but in a relationship, we might have to learn to soften our habits with our mate. They might not respond the way we would like if we continue to use our old habits. They might just react too and this might put us in an even worse condition.
Take the First Step to a Calmer, Happier Relationship
When we are in a relationship, we all want to feel the connection and closeness with the one we love. We all want to feel peaceful and relaxed. This is the wish of every couple I have ever worked with.
But how many of us actually live in this calm, connected way? If you are not getting what you want in your relationship, start with what you are doing to contribute to the war.
If you can see what you do, and you think it might have an impact on your mate, that is the first step toward recognizing that you can change. Because when we realize that we hurt the one we love, that is the beginning of understanding. And understanding always leads to more love.
Communicate More Openly in Your Relationship
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn how to soften your communication and bring less anger and conflict into your relationship, by reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help you communicate in gentle ways that help you feel and stay open with each other. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.