7 Ways to Stop Picking Fights
Posted by Girls Guide To on September 11, 2012 at 8:55 PM
I don’t care if you are in a fantastic relationship with the most perfect guy who farts sunshine and rainbows, you’re still going to fight. The thing is, most couples only occasionally fight about big issues. (And if you’re fighting about those big things more than that, well, it’s not a good sign.) Most often, we squabble over the little things that come with living with someone day in and day out, when being tired and cranky and hormonal clouds our rational thinking and you just explode. Or maybe that’s just me. I know it’s something I’m working on. If you too would like to stop going at it like cats and dogs, try out some of these strategies I’m using to make my home life a much happier and less combative place!
1. Stop and Listen
This is hugely important – and for as simple as it sounds, you know as well as I do that it’s actually pretty hard to do. You both need to listen to each other, to what is said and what is meant. You need to listen closely to what’s wrong, and what the underlying issues are. You might be frustrated or angry, and you probably have every right to be. But you still need to hear what your partner is trying to tell you.
2. Watch Your Words
When you’re upset, it’s so easy to start insulting your partner. You’re hurt and angry, so you want to make him hurt and angry too. But it never works that way. And it almost always makes things worse and leads away from the central issue. Don’t say things you’ll regret after the fight is over. Literally bite your tongue if you have to, but keep a close eye on the words you say.
3. Figure Out the Central Issue
You might be ostensibly arguing about whose turn it is to take out the trash, or how he forgot he was supposed to join you for happy hour to meet your new co-workers. However, odds are that those problems come down to different issues – your partner might feel like you’re not pulling your weight, or you might feel like your partner doesn’t take commitments seriously. Finding the deeper issue can actually keep you from arguing in the future because you can work to solve it now.
4. Remember: You’re Not Always Right
I read somewhere: You can be right, or you can be married. While that may be oversimplifying things a bit, I’ll admit, this was a tough lesson for me to learn. Because who wants to be wrong? No one. But it’s ok to be wrong (and to admit it) sometimes. It doesn’t mean you’ve “lost.” It means now you have a chance to learn something new and to be a better partner yourself.
5. Choose Your Battles
Some things just aren’t worth fighting over. You need to let the small things go, or else it’s going to get the better of both of you. Petty grievances don’t need to be hashed out over and over again. You may have to accept some things, and just let them go.
6. Walk Away
When things are about to blow up, sometimes you just have to walk away. I don’t mean end the relationship, just get out of the same room until things cool down. Walk the dog. Take a bath. Sometimes I go clean the dishes just to get away and do something menial while my mind works through the issue. It’s not fun, but you’ll both get a little perspective and will be able to fight more rationally.
7. Remember the Love
Above all, remember that you indeed, do love this guy…even if right now you’d rather claw his eyes out. If you keep that in mind, maybe the trash isn’t such a big deal as you thought and you’re much more likely to work for a compromise.
How do you stop all the bickering in your relationship?