Wondering how to stop an argument?
People frequently ask me about how to stop an argument. When they do, I’d love to give them a fool-proof way to get it done. I wish it were as simple as saying one or two words, instantly turning two people amidst taking each other’s heads off into docile, compliant, happy people free to go about their business as if nothing happened.
Unfortunately, nothing short of physical distance stops an argument. I know this, because I have spent much of my early life arguing. I have never been able to stop arguing once I get started.
Learning How to Stop an Argument Begins With Understanding Why People Argue
Now that I work as a counselor, and I have had a lot of personal counseling, I know why people argue. I also know it is impossible to get people to just stop unless they have done a lot of inner work.
First, understand that if you are arguing, you are in your fight mode. Have you heard of fight or flight? This is where we get trapped in one of the brain, and that’s why we react the way we do.
So, I want to talk about how people who argue are wired and why it’s not so easy to stop.
Why It’s So Hard to Stop An Argument
Those of us that come into relationships arguing our points of view have been using this system of expression since we were little. We probably grew up in a family where we had to use our voice to be heard. So we might have developed a strong way of saying what is important to us, especially when we are unhappy.
This is how we communicate with the world, and it gets really strong when our feelings get hurt. So understanding how we are designed can be one of the first steps in moving on to something different.
Part of Learning How to Stop An Argument Is Understanding How Arguing Affects Others
Another way we decide to change our tactics is to start to notice what our aggression does to the people around us. This is helpful too.
Before I was aware of how my behavior came across to others I was stuck in how hurt I was, or how mad I got. I remember this one time when I was working in another kind of job I got really, really mad. I went into a little booth and I slammed the door so hard I bent the shade that hung down. Yup, it got stuck in the slammed door and I ruined it.
I saw the damage, but you know at that point in my development all I remember thinking was, “Now they know how they made me feel.”
It took me until I was in my own relationship with my husband to actually see the effects I was having on the people I love.
I urge you, if you are stuck in an argument with the person you love to begin by looking at yourself. If you “throw up your anger” on them, ask yourself what you could do different.
Focus On New Ways to Channel Your Frustration, Instead of Tit-For-Tat
Stopping arguments begins with each one understanding themselves, and this starts with you.
Don’t be in your partner’s business saying to yourself, “Well, they do it too.” Take initiative and be the one to begin something new. Something better. And I can tell you from personal experience. I am so much better off. No more arguments from me. Sure, I still get my feelings hurt. That happens when we interact with people.
But I don’t have the large, angry energy bursts of my past. And along with having a good relationship, you know the other benefit? I feel better. Maybe you could too.
Want to Know Even More About Eliminating Constant Fighting in a Relationship?
Read a Book About Relationships
If you’re still wondering how to stop arguments in a relationship, try reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It just might help you look at patterns that cause conflict and escalation into arguments. It may also help you communicate in ways less likely to result in hurt feelings or a fight. 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.