Although arguments are sometimes unpleasant, psychologists convince us they may have positive effects. What to do to make a quarrel beneficial to our health and not to turn the suppressed grudge into an infernal row?
The ability to manage disputes is one of the most important skills that can be learned. Months of suppressed annoyance can lead to a real explosion, the type which has already destroyed many relationships. How to argue wisely? Please read our short guide.
Why is it worth arguing?
A dispute is often associated with a sense of crisis in the relationship and unpleasant words we speak or hear from our partner. Not wanting to expose ourselves to hurtful words, we prefer to wait in silence for a few days, suppressing our grudge and emotions. Quiet days, however, have little to do with cleansing the atmosphere and concern for each other feelings. Especially, as often seemingly trivial squabbles hide great emotions and serious feelings (jealousy, longing, depression). By hiding these feelings, we get rid of the certainty that we still care for each other.
What can we do to make a quarrel valuable and bring benefit to the relationship? First of all, it must be based on a real genuine desire to reach an agreement. Only the desire to reach an agreement can guarantee a meaningful exchange of views, which can then have beneficial effects. Another important principle is respect for the other person’s feelings and worries. Learn to listen carefully to the other person instead of constantly focusing on your own arguments. Remember that only then an argument may help you resolve misunderstandings in a reasonable way and to discharge the negative emotions.
Express what you feel
However, this is not about pouring out a stream of blame and hurtful remarks about the partner. Accusations shouted to the other person at the speed of a machine gun will arouse a similar reaction – in response you will get back a pile of accusations and harsh words. In this way you fall into a vicious circle of grievances and … nothing changes. Try to learn to express emotions regarding only what you feel yourself at that moment. Say: “I am disappointed that I have to do everything. I feel anger and sadness when I have to take care of everything myself.” This message will work better than: “You didn’t take out the trash again! You are hopeless and you only think about yourself.”
Understanding another person
During each argument, it is important to understand the intentions of the other side. You should not let stress and nervousness dominate you. When you are nervous, it is more difficult to manage what you say and it is harder to focus on the needs of the other person. When talking to your partner, keep calm, stay attentive and make sure that the argument is not turned into an unjust squabble, even if your partner is the one who is attacking and throwing accusations, carefully ignoring your efforts to compromise.
When a conflict arises and you cannot control the nerves, say that you will return to this issue when the partner cools off. Express what you feel. Do not be afraid to say: “You are screaming at me instead of talking peacefully. Let me know when you’re over it.” In this way, you let your partner know that you care for compromise and agreement. Do not allow them to be dragged into pointless bickering that can only worsen your situation. Also, remember to never go back to the old issues that have no connection with the things you are arguing about right now. The only thing your partner will remember from such an argument is that you did not play fair.