No matter what type of relationship you are in, 99.9% chance you’ve already had an argument. Healthy arguments and discussions make up the foundations of a relationship – if you’re able to resolve it without drama then you’re one step closer to a stronger relationship.
However, for anyone who has been in a relationship before knows that it’s not always that simple to resolve a conflict. There’s arguing over the initial problem then more arguing over the who’s right and who’s wrong. As human beings, we all want to be right so this type of argument can get quite tricky when both parties are being stubborn. Arguments that are brushed under the carpet can eventually be the bullets of a loaded gun. It can get extremely hostile, explosive and resentful if problems are left unsolved for a long period of time. So how do we learn to resolve conflict in a relationship? Here are 5 effective ways to overcome conflict!
1. Talk instead of shout
I can guarantee you that shouting will almost always escalate a problem. It gets loud, overwhelming and heated – all your partner can do is walk away. Trust me, walking away is the last thing you want from anybody while you’re trying to express how you feel. Before putting your energy into yelling and screaming, maybe think about putting your energy into your words and structuring them in a way that your partner will understand. Talking to one another is key in a relationship, if you can’t talk to each other then your relationship is half broken already.
2. Is there something deeper?
With long term relationships, issues can get buried quite deep. So deep that we no longer remember what had caused the issue until something triggers it in our minds. Number one trigger? A brand new argument. For example, your partner has chosen to hang out with their friends instead of staying in for the night with you. This not only triggers an argument, it also triggers the memory of your partner doing this exact same thing a few months ago. You didn’t quite get over it that time, so your anger is twice as bad this time. It’s things like this that can build up over time and cause your argument to be deeper and more serious than it should be. Make sure you discuss all issues with your partner – when they understand how you feel, they’ll be more empathetic with the situation.
3. Learn to compromise
When arguing with anybody, we often look at the situation one-sided. It will usually always be, why didn’t he/she do this, why did he/she say that? To make the situation better, learn to compromise by simply asking what you can do instead. It’s very easy to immediately place the blame on the other person but relationships aren’t about who did what. It’s about putting your minds together and coming up with a solution that will make you both happy.
4. Listen and be patient
Most arguments stem from a case of miscommunication or misunderstandings. Being able to stop and actually listen to the problem is probably one of the best things you can do whilst in a very emotional and stressful state. Remember to not only hear but listen as well. When we are in highly emotional situations, we tend to practice selective hearing – this is where we only hear what we want to. Listening to every word your partner is saying is essential to problem-solving and it’ll be a key to strengthening your relationship.
5. Walk away before you regret it
As human beings, we can get extremely worked up and tend to say things that we may regret later on (whether they are true or not). As soon as you feel that the argument has escalated into dark waters, and the vibes are just too negative, you need to step away. There have been couples who agree on taking a time-out or a breather in the middle of the argument and coming back to it later on when both parties have calmed down. This is such a great idea for those who know they get too emotional when arguing. However, don’t mistake this for simply walking away from an argument. Make it clear that you’ll be taking a breather and you’ll definitely get back to it later on.
Couples argue every day, and for some, it’s their way of expressing love and emotion to one another. However, don’t let arguing get in the way of your relationship growing. Everything you do in a relationship is a learning curve and the more you learn, the stronger you will be.