Don't do THIS when arguing with your partner

We argue with our significant other. It's a fact of life. 

However, we can only hope that our bond will emerge stronger following the tiff -- with both partners poised to take each other's concerns into account and work toward allaying them -- than before.

Here's the issue: There's constructive fighting -- where both voice their grievances in a tactful, non-accusatory way, and then there's vicious fighting, an all-out brawl where both individuals stop at nothing to say the nastiest things to one another. 

Needless to say, you definitely want to steer clear of the latter if you want to avoid derailing the relationship. It will only cause the fighting to escalate, widening the ever-yawning rift between you and your partner and making you resentful of one another. 

One thing many of us do which is a big no-no is the following: Instead of beginning with, "I feel hurt" or "I think you're being unfair," we frame our arguments in a much more negative, accusatory way: "You're always messing up.  You are such a slob. You are sabotaging the relationship."

Notice the difference?

The first approach -- beginning each sentence with "I" -- sounds like it genuinely comes from the heart, and it gets to the root of hurt or angry feelings. The second scenario smacks of pointing the finger; you come off as being judgmental, which does nothing but put your partner on the defensive.

I think arguing can ultimately improve the relationship provided each partner makes an earnest effort to listen to and address the other's concerns. However, if such complaints fall on deaf ears, it'll only damage the relationship in the long run. 

What's more, the argument doesn't have to devolve into a full-throated shouting match. You can be firm but respectful by keeping your emotions in check. Don't talk over or down to your partner. Let them get their word in. You're bound to discover there are things bothering him or her that you had no idea of. 

No comments: