Arguments are no fun and not everyone deals with them in the same way. As couples, we may not always agree on everything the same, even the most perfect couples have these disagreements, but as a kid, your parents always told you to “fight nice”, so how does one keep their cool during an argument?
First off, recognize the problem. If you can eliminate an argument right off the bat, do so. No one wants to fight, but sometimes it’s avoidable. Discuss with your partner how you deal with conflict; this will let them know how to handle you when thing get bumpy.
Think Before You Speak
This is a hard one. Once you speak, you can’t take it back. Saying something that crosses the line may be unforgivable. If you feel as though you can’t hold back, ask for a few moment to cool down, walk away and compose yourself, if you have to write down what you want to say. Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean.
A cool down can be a walk. Walk off your feelings, release some stress and allow yourself time to think things of over. Writing a letter can be another way to cool down. Write your thoughts down, get your ducks in a row. Or walk away from the situation for a few moments and come back to it when you’ve gathered your thoughts. A cool down durning an argument can save you a lot of hurt.
We, as humans, do our best when our feelings are recognized and validated. Feeling as though we are being ignored escalates our emotions and can cause us to say things before we speak and say things that we don’t exactly mean. Nodding to show you are listening can allow one to feel as though they aren’t talking to a wall.
Rolling your eyes in response to something that they’ve said or crossing your arms are signs of harsh body language. Keep yourself poised and calm, this makes you approachable.
Comprehend and absorb what your spouse is trying to say to you. They are telling you how they are feeling and what they are thinking. Letting them know that you understand them lets them feel secure and able to confide in you.
Tone is everything. If your tone is harsh, your partner will likely come back at you with a similar tone. If you shout, the natural response of your spouse will be to shout back. Take a deep breath and don’t be afraid to walk away to regroup, it doesn’t mean you don’t care, it just means you care to be kind.
Reach A Conclusion
Don’t leave your argument with no conclusion, if neither of you are able to fight nice, be sure to pause and return to the topic when you’ve both cooled down.
Even if you aren’t the one that needs to say you’re sorry, apologize for the need of the argument, that there was an argument in the first place. Hopefully you’ve remained calm and haven’t said anything that would be hurtful or lasting, but this will initiate them to apologize for whatever is necessary to apologize for. Apologizing doesn’t mean you are weak or that you’ve lost, it just means that you care far more for the person your fighting with than what you are arguing about.
Learn how to recognize your spouses body language and realize that they are doing the same for you. Be courteous and kind to one another and always remember to fight nice!
Check out more tips for conflict resolution!