I can be opinionated, speak sometimes without thinking it through, and tell it like I see it with the people I’m closest to. So, as you can probably imagine, I get in a fair amount of arguments with the boyfriend. While I’m not an expert at avoiding arguments altogether, I can give some tips on how to recover from a bad argument and how it can bring you even closer.
Talk it all the way through
No walking away allowed! There are so many times that I want to slam the door and walk away from a brutal argument, but I make sure to stick it out. Walking away makes it worse and it makes the fight last way longer than it potentially needs to. Both sides should be heard. It’s important to put in the time to talk it out in areas that you don’t agree, because hearing their whole side of the story oftentimes makes you understand their side better.
Be okay with giving them space
Sometimes when you’re angry, you can’t think things through properly. I read an article from Verily about how men tend to need more time to process their emotions. Women might need this too, but I know that I’m the kind of person who wants an argument to be settled immediately. I hate going any period of time being upset or with someone being upset with me. However, it is true (with my relationship at least) that sometimes giving the other person space is just what is needed. I’m certainly not saying that you shouldn’t come back to the topic ever again, but address it after having time to cool down from the heat of the moment.
Make sure your both coming from a loving place when you talk
Similarly to giving space, when you’re in the heat of the argument, you can often feel like you are on different teams. One (or both) of you will feel like a victim or a villain. Words start coming out of your mouths that you don’t mean to say. Taking a moment or two to breathe and remember that you’re speaking with a person you love and that they have no bad intentions towards you is a good place to start. Remember that it’s not black and white and that their perspective might be valid in ways that you didn’t think of before. Hear them out in a loving way and at the very least, try to understand where they are coming from.
Come at it from a “we” perspective
We’re so often playing a blame game with each other. “You hurt me” and “I’m so upset” are completely valid thoughts and words. But they aren’t the most effective in communication. I find that it unifies your relationship to speak as a “we.” You’re partners, so speak with each other like you believe you’re in a partnership. It is such a better angle to talk about working on something together than to feel like you’re not on the same side.
Ask yourself, “why does this really bother me?”
I find that we can start arguments about one thing and it will lead to something seemingly off course. Take a moment to ask yourself this question and have a discussion with your partner about what is really bothering you and how you both might be able to fix it together.
Try out their perspective
It’s like trying on a sweater. Take a look inside their mind. Oh, don’t you wish you actually could sometimes? Play out the scenario in their eyes. Think about what they might have been thinking about. We make up stories in our heads that make other people look worse than they usually are. It doesn’t have to feel that way. We can decide to see something from another person’s point of view without changing our own.
Know when to let it go
Some battles aren’t worth fighting and some are. Stay true to your most important values and be a little flexible where you can be. It’s important to be open to different points of view. You don’t have to change yours, but sometimes you need to let go of the fact that you and your romantic partner are not the same people.
A little less “he’s wrong” and “I’m right.” A little more “we.” And we have ourselves a lot less drama. Happy making up!