Arguments aren’t fun for anyone. Why waste hours or possibly even days arguing over things? Yes, conflict is an unavoidable part of being in a relationship. But you can address conflicts without allowing yourselves to be pulled into nasty arguments that leave you both hurt and angry. These relationship rules can help you learn a whole new way of relating to each other, one that’s much more pleasant.
Decide what issues are worth addressing: Not every issue is worth addressing. A lot of things actually aren’t. Some things have to be dealt with, but the key is to think it through before you bring it up with your partner. Ask yourself if this issue matters to your relationship or if it’s a simple aggravation. Learning to pick your battles is an important relationship skill.
Examine your circumstances first: Before you bring up something that could turn into an argument, take a look at your personal circumstances first. Are you tired, hungry, sick or hormonal? All of those factors, plus more, have a bearing on how you’re feeling. It could be that the issue isn’t nearly as big as it seems. Make sure you’re at your best before you make a decision on whether an issue is worth discussing so that you know your personal circumstances aren’t clouding your view.
Practise kindness: Kindness will prevent many arguments that flare up out of nowhere simply because you’re both grouchy. It’s sad, but sometimes our partner gets the short end of the stick. We’re more likely to treat our partner poorly than we are a stranger simply because of the level of closeness and familiarity you have together. Determine not to fall into this temptation. Make a conscious effort to always give your partner your best.
Focus on all the amazing traits your partner has: This little trick can transform relationships. It’s quite magical how it works. Whatever you focus on will grow. If you focus on your partner’s shortcomings and failings then guess what will be glaring at you? Thankfully, if you focus on all the wonderful things about your partner then you’ll keep seeing more of them.
Follow the 24-hour rule: I have a friend who shared this piece of advice with me and there’s a lot of wisdom in it. Have a 24-hour rule. This simply means that if something bothers you, give yourself 24 hours to think it over. If it’s still upsetting you after that time then you should probably address it. But many times it won’t seem like such a big deal after a day has passed.
Stick to the issue at hand: It’s really easy to pull in past incidents if you end up in a conflict with your partner. Don’t give in to that temptation. It doesn’t help and it certainly isn’t productive. All it does is turn a small conflict into a huge argument. Deal with the current issue only.
Call for time out: If you find that things are growing heated between the two of you then call for a time out. This simply means that you realize you’re both too emotional to deal with the issue right now.
You need some time to cool down and think. More than likely, when you discuss it again, you’ll both have different viewpoints. Time outs are wonderful at giving you perspective.