The Art of Arguing: 5 Tips to Keep Quarrels under Control

Fights between partners can only develop in two ways. They will either lead to further aggravation of contradictions and a breakup or help solve the problem take a relationship to a new level, allowing partners to understand each other better next time.

If a quarrel can’t be avoided, then go ahead and let your anger loose. The main thing here is to follow some rules to make sure your fight doesn’t become the last.

Don’t blame each other

During a quarrel, try to use I-expressions built on the principle of appealing to your own feelings, requests, and needs. Instead of “You make me sad when you do/say/act ...,” it’s better to say, “I feel unhappy because...” Besides replacing "you" with "I," you can start using phrases in a positive way, creating the right suggestion within the conversation. Instead of “I want you to stop doing [something],” just say, “I want you to do this instead of that next time because this is important to me.” This is just the small step that will allow you to get rid of the toxic accusatory tone that we usually switch to during a fight.

Let your partner speak too

When arguing, we express our own insults, discontent, and accumulated claims. In general, all this resembles a snowball or avalanche, behind which it’s difficult to tell what your partner feels. Remember, there’s always more than one person in a conflict. And both partners have the right to speak. Even if it was you who started the quarrel, and while you express your insults in the partner’s face, they stand silently and don’t object, it would be nice to ask if they want to say something once you’re done.

Keep your quarrels private

Even if some third party (like parents, children, friends, or just bystanders on the street) was the cause of a quarrel, you shouldn’t escalate the conflict in their presence. And for a relationship, no one, except you and a partner, should be involved in a fight. Be especially careful if a quarrel is brewing in the presence of your friends.

Never swear or use harsh words

In some cases, partners reach the point of no return during an argument when emotions take over the situation. That’s where you might accidentally tell each other a lot of rude stuff and probably regret it afterwards. Don’t try to hurt your loved one with words or expressions they can’t tolerate. For instance, if you know that your partner is very sensitive to references to their family, you shouldn’t put pressure on this weak spot.

Every fight should have an end

Reconciliation should be the logical conclusion to the conflict, and after a quarrel, you both shouldn’t have a feeling of incompleteness. If you have something to say, speak right away while you’re in a quarrel – this is the right time to get rid of the accumulated claims. If, as a result, one of you still has some unspoken insults, they will inevitably lead to a new fight. The ideal way to get out of an argument is to summarize the main points. Summing up can be built upon one phrase, like “I’ve heard all your claims, and now I understand why you get upset when I do this or that. I promise to stop acting like that.”

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