Relationships are a vital part of our lives and can directly impact our health and well-being.
However, relationships are fragile and need to be nurtured and protected. With all of the present-day craziness of politics, the economy, the weather, internet relationships, isolation because of electronics, text messaging, etc., it can put a strain on any relationship. Miscommunication or disagreements can arise, which can turn into a drawn-out fight that rocks your relationship and leads to yelling and resentment.
We can all use some help keeping our lives connected in a healthy, happy way to avoid unnecessary relationship fights.
If you find yourself in a challenging situation or disagreement with your partner, these 8 tips will come in handy to keep relationship fights from turning ugly:
1. Avoid blaming or yelling.
Blaming your partner only keeps your relationship fight going because it encourages defensive behavior! It doesn’t solve any problems; it just escalates the argument.
When arguing about a problem or disagreement, yelling can make things worse. When our emotions are running high, it is easy to fall into yelling mode, because you may not feel like you are being heard. But I learned once that the first person to raise their voice is automatically the loser — so avoid yelling and blaming if you do find yourself in a relationship fight to keep things civil.
I personally have been subjected to verbal abuse in my life, and this verbal abuse has been harder to overcome than the physical abuse. It gets deep down into your subconscious and can undermine your self-confidence. A healthy relationship does not have room for this type of abuse. Seek professional help if you find yourself in this type of situation.
2. Avoid using degrading language.
Avoid insults, put-downs, name-calling, or cussing. When you put your partner down or insult their character, it shows disrespect for his or her dignity. This is another form of verbally abusive behavior. It can harm them much more than you ever imagined.
In a healthy, positive relationship, we want to build up our partner’s self-confidence and self-esteem, not break it down, even when disagreements occur.
If you find yourself in a situation where your partner is not willing to address the fact that they are using degrading or verbally abusive language directed at you, you may want to seek professional help.
3. Avoid using force.
When someone resorts to physical violence against someone they love, it is devastating to the relationship and the person who is being abused. It is unacceptable behavior to threaten, use force, or even threaten verbally. If this happens, it is important to seek professional help. Everyone has the right to feel safe and a right not to feel in danger. So, pushing, restraining, breaking things are all violence and should not be a part of a relationship.
I personally have been subjected to physical violence and it is not a part of a healthy relationship. Seek professional help if you find yourself in this type of situation.
4. Avoid the subject of divorce.
When arguments arise, try avoiding using manipulative behavior, like threatening to leave the relationship. This can ruin the trust in a relationship and relationships are built on trust. This type of threat can create fear in your partner’s mind as to how committed you are in the relationship. This mistrust can make it harder to resolve the issue at hand and possibly cause more problems later.
5. Be yourself; describe how you feel.
When arguing it can be easy to try to interpret the other person’s feelings and make assumptions that may or may not be true. So, stay in your adult mind, be strong, but stay calm and define your own feelings and how the situation is making you feel.
When a partner tries to control someone else by telling them how they should think or feel, it puts that other person in a defensive position and distracts from the true underlying issue at hand. Instead work on the issue and how to solve the problem and meet each of your needs.
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6. Stay present.
When we are fighting, it can be easy to bring up past hurts or situations, but resist this and focus on the present issue and leave everything else out of it. Try to stay focused on resolving the problem at the moment.
7. Listen and take turns speaking.
Be truly present and truly listen to the other person. Then take turns and allow each of you to speak without interruption. It is important that everyone feels they have been heard and that each person has been given an equal opportunity to explain their viewpoint on the subject. It is all about fairness and equality.
8. Take a time out to think things over and give each other some space.
When we get into an argument, it is difficult to truly look at things calmly and without the emotional input.
So, after you have both spoken your thoughts, agree to take an hour or some time (at a minimum 30 minutes), to do something else, think about the situation and meet up again a little later to discuss ideas on resolving the issue. Sometimes we just need some time to reflect and think before we come to a calm, well thought out resolution that can serve both person’s needs.
Rules can help situations with emotions be handled in a more sensible method without being exposed to degrading, humiliating, childish or cruel behavior. That is one reason the court systems run in a more organized fashion, allowing each party to present their case and hopefully find some resolution. I’ve found that taking the time out and also possibly writing down the pros and cons of each situation can also help you see what you have in common and possibly agree on a situation.