How To Successfully Argue With Your Partner

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Couples have heated moments. That's completely natural, however we can often find ourselves making long term decision based on our short term feelings. Some are of the mindset that in order to have a perfect relationship it should be completely argument free. I can assure you that those people are wrong on two accounts:

1. There's no such thing as a perfect relationship
2. Arguments exercise and demonstrate our right to think independently

Arguments are simply a display of two people who are equally passionate about two conflicting ideals. This isn't an issue. We are humans not robots so we are bound to have a conflict of interests at times in our relationships. I've had some epic arguments with my wife. Most of the time it's simply because of a lack of communication and compromise. Truth is, conflict is bound to come up every now and then. The conflict itself is not the issue here, it's our actions and the hurtful words we say in the heat of the moment that may require more of our thoughts and consideration before we speak in frustration and anger.

There’s an art to successfully arguing with your partner, but, if you've clicked on this article to figure out how to successfully "win" an argument with your partner then... well maybe you're meant to be on this page because our goal should not be to simply "win" an argument. In most relationships, marriage, in particular, it's known that if one of us wins, both of us lose. This article is about how we can turn our arguments into building blocks that help strengthen our relationships.


Zip It!

Keeping quiet has been one of the hardest things I've had to learn to do, but when you intentionally close your mouth, you're breaking the pattern or habit and start taking control over what comes out of your mouth. You give yourself time to consciously choose the words that you’re going to say. We’ve all had that moment of verbal diarrhoea when a series of words come rushing out from your mouth and the feeling of instant regret overwhelms us. If only we could just think before we speak! Once these moments pass it's too late, the damage is done. Whatever we've said can never be taken back. Our words can not be undone. So practice keeping quiet. Keep it shut! Don’t talk so much. Excessive needless talking is usually a sign of nervousness or for most cases... stupidity. There's a saying that the tongue is a good servant but a terrible master. Putting effort into your moments of silence and controlling your tongue will change your life.



Use Your Ears

Press pause on the points you are trying to get across, and take a moment to simply listen to what it is your partner is trying to tell you. Once your mouth is closed and you’ve stopped talking, you will be able to clearly hear exactly what she is trying to communicate with you, hear your own thoughts and give yourself processing time to respond wisely and accordingly.
I've worked in sales for most of my adult life and I was always told from an early age by my father that the best salesmen are not those who are the best talkers, they are the best listeners. They take the time to first hear from their potential customer and then tailor their response base on the new found knowledge that could only have been discovered through listening. This is true for relationships also. We can have the gift of the gab and put our points across in a convicting manner, however unless we are first prepared to listen we can not speak to the needs of the person in front of us; our spouse. I can't give my wife want she needs if I haven't taken the time to first listen and hear her heart.


Reflect and Empathise

Reflection is something we do not allow ourselves to do often enough. Ever been in a situation where the outcome completely depends on what you say and how you say it? It turns out that your speech has the power to shape your life. Not only can your words create a positive or negative effect on the people and environment around you. Your speech can also influence your thinking and seriously alter the course of your future for the better or for the worse. This is why it's so important we do not just fly off the handle with our responses! Take the time to reflect on what has been said and structure the points you would like to get across. It's also just as important to understand what your partner is truly feeling, and then seek out the path of least destruction when putting our words together. Once you completely understand and have collated your thoughts well, what happens next is entirely up to you, so accept the fact you have complete control of the words you're about to say. No one can push you or make you say anything you don't want to. You are 100% responsible for what comes out of your mouth so reflect and try to come from a place of empathy. 


Act Last

When it comes down to it, ultimately you don’t want to say or do anything until you've done the first three points. Make sure you communicate exactly what you mean and remove your emotions and feelings. DO NOT make any long term decisions or say anything you may later regret based on your short term feelings.
Your actions should be based on all the information you have now gathered through following these steps. The truth is this: you cannot control the words, actions or behaviour of your partner, however, you can control yours. So, be intentional about your actions and choice of words and think about the response you would hope to get from it. By being intentional about how you respond when arguments arise, you can seriously help influence and change the tone and direction of the conflict. This process is called modelling, setting the example or even leading from the front. In a nutshell, this is true leadership.


We're very fickle at times, and in the heat of the moment we can allow our emotions to get the better of us. Our poor choice of words and thoughtless decisions are often a result of our emotional, impromptu, knee-jerk responses. Remember, arguments arise when people believe passionately in something enough to remove all sense of logic and fight over that belief. So learn to remove your emotions. Take deep, slow breaths, count to ten and remove self-interest. Try to think of the bigger picture and apply logic. If you are able to get your partner to reveal her true issues and pains, you can think logically and present your proposal as the solution in a constructive manner, that looks to build a stronger bond, better understanding and a better relationship between you both. In marriage, a "successful" argument is resolved with two winners, not one.



How do you turn your arguments into building blocks that help strengthen your relationship?



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