How To Resolve Arguments
Unfortunately, when you’re in a long term relationship the chances of arguments occurring are pretty high. Having arguments isn’t a bad thing as long as the arguments are being resolved. If an argument isn’t resolved it keeps coming back up anyway.
The reason arguments keep coming back up is because there was no closure, no understanding and no reassurance that it won’t happen again. It means there is unfinished business and with unfinished business, there are hurt emotions that have not been acknowledged.
When someone has been hurt they either hold it in or bring it back up again hoping for a resolution. If they hold it in it comes out almost on a daily basis by picking on little things as a way of leading to the bigger issue. Some people don’t even realize they are doing it but it only triggers more arguments.
It’s funny how two people who can be so close one day can become strangers the next. Arguments can cause relationships to break up if they become aggressive and nasty. Understanding the Ground Rules for arguments in your relationship is the first thing you want to establish. Ground rules are like boundaries to keep arguments focused on resolving the issue and not making an argument personal abut your partner.
When people don’t know how to resolve arguments by talking them through, understanding each others points of view and coming to a conclusion that is amicable they go the opposite way. They thrash it out with nasty words, put-downs, bringing up the past and any other tactic to overpower their partner.
It can get out of hand and sometimes turns physically violent. Arguments can escalate very quickly and bring out the worst in people, especially if you feel your backs up against the wall.
Relationships depend on good communication skills to keep everything above board, honest and open. Arguments occur because real communication has stopped and people start assuming what they know, distorting details, omitting details or coming up with false conclusions.
The need for constructive ways to resolve arguments is essential to the life and quality of your relationship. Here are 9 steps to help you resolve arguments with your partner:
9 Steps For Resolving Arguments With Your Partner
We can narrow down 9 steps to talk with your partner and resolve arguments so they don’t keep coming back. It will take a little bit of practice but you will enjoy the rewards of knowing how to reach solutions that work for your relationship.
Step 1. Acknowledge there is something that needs to be sorted out
Sounds simple because you will be guided by your emotions when something isn’t right. Those emotions have the ability to take a small problem and blow it out of proportion. So, when you feel the emotions rising, understand your emotions are just an alarm bell telling you something isn’t right and you need to sort it out. Remain calm and think about exactly what the problem is for you. What’s the real problem?
Step 2. Choose Your Timing
Remember your emotions will give you a sense of urgency to go and sort out the problem right now but you need to choose a time that’s appropriate. Choose a time where you have privacy and without interruptions. Ask your partner, what time’s a good time for you to talk about an issue that’s important to you. Allow enough time to reach a resolution.
Step 3. Focus on a Solution
If you’ve set a time to talk about the problem and it’s not for several hours it gives you plenty of time to calm down your emotions and start thinking about how you want the problem to be solved. You don’t want to charge into a conversation and over analyze the problem without having a few solutions in mind.
It’s pointless going into a conversation without any direction towards what you want the outcome to be. What do you want the result to be from your conversation? Do you want an explanation, an apology, reassurance?
Step 4. State the problem and then be quiet
You’ll never resolve an issue if you charge at it like a bull at a gate. You’ve got your partner’s attention, state the problem and the effect it has on you and then be quiet. Let your partner talk. You need to be quiet and listen until they are completely finished.
If you keep talking, interrupting you end up doing all the talking, your partner switches off because you’re not giving them a chance to say their side and it only ends up creating a bigger argument and a bigger disconnection between you.
Step 5. Clarify & Ask Questions
Ask questions until you understand what your partner is telling you. Don’t assume anything or guess what something means. Ask for clarification on anything you didn’t quite understand. You need all the details before you can make a decision on where to go next.
Step 6. Stay Focused on one problem
Don’t bring in any other issues from the past or anything recent that has upset you. You want to move forward not sideways. When you get your partner’s attention you might be tempted to bring up anything that’s been bothering you. Don’t do this – not now. You need to work through one problem at a time and reach a resolution. Build on your successes and choose another time to talk about anything else. Don’t dwell in problems dwell in solutions.
Step 7. Ask your partner for their suggested solutions
Instead of just asking your partner to explain themselves ask them what they think a good solution would be. Listen without judgment and brainstorm together solutions that could work.
Step 8. Negotiate The Outcome
Depending on the problem you’re trying to resolve you may have already reached a solution. If the problem is more complex then you need to negotiate the solution. Talk about why your solution would work for you and how that outcome would benefit the relationship. Then ask your partner to talk about the solution they believe is best and how that would benefit the relationship.
It’s not about who can argue the best or who can negotiate the best. It’s about finding a solution that allows the relationship to continue and to grow because you both feel respected and understood.
Step 9. Gain Closure & Put The Problem To Rest – For Good
Make a decision and follow through with the solution giving your problem closure. Give each other a hug and a kiss and reassure each other of the love you have.
Points To Keep In Mind When Resolving Arguments
Solving arguments is a communication skill and skills take time, practice and patience. It may seem a bit mechanical to start with but with practice, it will become natural. It makes your relationship much easier to get through life challenges and preserves the love you have for each other because things don’t get out of hand.
If you’ve been talking for a while and it doesn’t feel like you’re getting anywhere, take a break for a while and set another time to talk. Even if you take a break for 30 minutes to recharge yourself and refocus on the issue at hand. Make a coffee and reflect on the solution you’re trying to reach and then start again.
- Remain calm and open
- Listen without interrupting your partner
- Be honest and say what you need to say without making it personal
- Work towards a solution
- Always hug afterward to get back to what your relationship is all about – love and happiness
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