Posted on September 21, 2009 by Two Becomes One
At some point or another in everyone’s relationship, there is tension and often that tension leads to a verbal disagreement which can at times get heated. There are correct ways to go about disagreeing with one another and then there are some ways where you can cause damage to a relationship that will not easily be undone. There have to be some very clearly set limits to what is still under the umbrella of a respectful disagreement or any argument is just a petty bickering.
Never, ever allow physical or verbal abuse to be okay or acceptable in an argument. If this happens as an isolated incident, step away from the situation immediately and allow both parties to calm down. If this is a longstanding issue, seek help right away.
Things to Avoid:
Other areas to avoid are name calling and speaking for the other person. If you are arguing, argue your point. You don’t have their point and you cannot guess at the motivations that they hold- leave that for them to express.
It is also highly advisable that you avoid using your relationship as leverage in a relationship, and if one partner begins to do that- the other needs to be big enough to walk away from the situation until it calms down.
When arguing, don’t try to solve every problem within the relationship, instead, try tackling one problem at a time. If the discussion involves something you have done- stay on task and do not attempt to bring up things that they have and vice versa. Focus on one issue at a time, and try to come to some form of compromise.
Also, a big thing where many people make a huge mistake in disagreements is they aren’t as direct as they should be- by direct, this does not mean sharp, biting comments, however, making vague statements about what is bothering you or what concerns you doesn’t help anyone. Be very specific and try to be concise, but never vague.
Don’t talk about things when you aren’t calm. If an argument heads into raised voices, take a moment to collect yourself, or allow the other person the space to do so. Be sure you are both speaking clearly, calmly and not insulting, bringing up the past, or trying to divert into other issues.
Being able to have a disagreement without it coming to a verbal screaming match is the best way to really bring about a better understanding of both your relationship and your partner, so endeavoring to do so in a manner that is constructive, rather than destructive, is always best. Having some sort of disagreements, even arguments in relationships is a perfectly normal thing and does not have to mean the end of the relationship itself. If both partners are willing to work it through rationally and keep their focus on making things work as opposed to giving up, a disagreement can be a very powerful, positive point of growth.
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