Wondering how to handle arguments in a relationship? Negotiating the path from conflict to peace can be trickier for some of us than others. Learn why some of us have an easier time of it than others, and how the rest of us can improve.
Some Families Prepare Us for How to Handle Arguments in a Relationship
Sometimes we learn how to argue a point of view, if we grow up in a family that practiced using this technique. If so then we have some built-in skills to take into our adult relationships.
But for many of us, we didn’t learn effective ways to get our points across without having some sort of disagreement. Disagreements are a natural part of relationships, but most people don’t expect to argue with the one they love.
Where Do Arguments in a Relationship Come From?
No two people are exactly the same and as a result each will have some different thoughts and ideas about how things should be. This is where disagreements begin. Two people—couples—will have differing views.
So, how to handle these disagreements? That is the question for every relationship on the planet. Here are some of the skills I like offer to clients.
Keep This in Mind, Before Arguing in a Relationship
If you are in a relationship, both of you have a right to your opinions, thoughts, viewpoint, and more. That’s right, both of you have a right. But in some relationships this right belongs to just one person. Maybe that person pushes harder and it’s just easier for the other to just say yes.
I see this a lot in counseling too. But then there is an imbalance. The one who always gets their way is never happy. The other who always gives in is often frustrated.
Think About How to Be Heard, So Discussions Don’t Become Arguments
This is not a good system for the long haul. Here are some other ways to handle disagreements so they don’t turn into full blown arguments.
A little personal history here. I grew up in a yelling family. My husband grew up in a family that never yelled. Funny how these things work out. I had to learn that if I wanted to convey something to him I couldn’t yell at him.
This was my work in the relationship. So this is where I would like to begin. Think about how you express yourself when you want your partner to hear you. If you are yelling, chances are you are having arguments and fights. So this is where you begin. When you are passionate about something, all it means is that it is important to you.
Nothing wrong with that. But learning how to convey the meaning and importance to your beloved will have way more impact than just telling them you don’t like what they are telling you or that you want something different.
Take Time to Kindly Explain What’s Important to You, to Argue Less
In a relationship we have to learn how to explain ourselves to our mates so they understand what is important to us. When we are describing something to them we do it with kindness, with a feather. We don’t use a bat to bash them in the head.
Leave the blame outside of telling them what you would like. Don’t compare what you do to what they do, this tit for tat just causes another showdown. Figure out how to say something lovely to your person about what you would like and why it is meaningful to you.
How to Handle Arguments in a Relationship Comes Down to Kindly Saying What You Mean
I know that’s a lot. But the truth of handling any argument is having the skill to say what you mean in a way that your partner can hear and understand it.
It is twofold. And here is another clue: if you are speaking from your heart, I guarantee your partner will always be listening because your heart is (exactly) what they have been longing to connect to.
Learn How to Handle Arguments in a Relationship in Greater Depth
Read a Book About Relationships
Get a little help with communicating and helping you and your partner notice what you do for each other, by reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you feel a new appreciation for one another, as you grow to understand and cultivate the kindness and thuoghtfulness that surround you. 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.