Do you ever feel as though your relationship is on the perpetual conflict merry go-round, consistently engaging in the same arguments time after time? By the end, are you left feeling defeated, unheard or harboring resentment towards your lover? The truth is bickering, disagreeing and arguing is inevitable and when done effectively can even be healthy in the evolution of your relationship.
So, how can you minimize conflict or at least diffuse an argument quickly? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Even though we’re human, men and women are fundamentally different… No brainer, right? Well, despite this clear understanding, most men and women struggle to effectively communicate in their relationships.
It’s okay though; very few of us are taught how to successfully transition from a ME to WE mindset. The ego mindset compounded with regular conflict can make for a volatile relationship. Women need to recognize that, in general, men struggle with conflict resolution in their intimate relationships. The majority of men tend to see things as either black or white, rarely acknowledging the vast gray area. Men view many aspects of life as a competition, and even though he loves you, once you’ve entered the ring for a no-holds match, you’re no longer his lover but his competitor.
Men are rational creatures, and their logical thought process often makes it difficult for them to empathize with their lovers. In fact, you’ll often hear couples refer to “winning” an argument. Heck, no one likes to be wrong! When you’re in the heat of the moment, you may get your point across; you may even win the argument. But what do either of you gain in the long run?
Arguments are inevitable
In nature, it is conflict and struggle that drives evolution. The same is true for your relationship.
With that said, my first piece of advice is to shift your views on conflict. Instead of being frustrated or aggravated in an argument, you can choose to accept the opportunity as a chance to better understand your partner.
If your goal is to strengthen your relationship, take the time to learn the root of your lover’s reasoning. You may learn that the reason why he doesn’t like your best friend is because she reminds him of an ex-girlfriend. Or maybe his aversion to weekly dinner at your parents’ house is that it reminds him of his parents’ divorce. Remember, men are not the type to share their inner feelings, especially painful ones, so it’s up to you to ask the right questions.
tips for effectively disagreeing
As hard as this will be, the sooner you can learn to put your emotions aside, the sooner you’ll move past conflict roadblocks. Therefore, leave the past in the past.
There is nothing worse than fighting with someone who points out your past mistakes, so stay on topic! Remember that, ultimately, you care about this person and they care for you, too. If you keep this one thought at the forefront of your mind, you’ll be less inclined to play the blame game or say things that are malicious.
Keep your voice to a moderate volume and avoid physical cues that can be viewed as negative such as rolling your eyes, sighing heavily or crossing your arms.
When Arguments Escalate…
And, in the case that the argument escalates… Be adults and take a time out.
You may not resolve every argument in a timely fashion, but don’t take those feelings to bed with you. Now trust me, I know that this is easier said than done, and may even come off as cliche, but don’t go to bed mad at one another. Remind your partner that even though you may not agree with each other, it doesn’t diminish the love you have for one another.
Remind your significant other that you’re team mates and both working toward the success of the relationship, even if you don’t agree on the path that should be taken. Then, give each other some space to decompress. Before heading to bed, try watching something funny together or telling your partner some of the many reasons why you love them.
Just remember conflict is normal, and when done in a respectful manner, can be healthy for your relationship. What matters is your perspective. Keep your love at the forefront of your mind, and no argument will ever get the best of you. Choose your battles; no one is perfect and committing to sharing your life with someone often means accepting their little quirks. So stop fighting your lover and start embracing them!