An average couple will have between thirty and fifty significant arguments a year, ‘significant’ meaning an encounter which departs sharply from civilised norms of dialogue, would be uncomfortable to film and show friends, and might involve screaming, rolled eyes, histrionic accusations, slammed doors and liberal uses of terms like ‘asshole’ and ‘dickhead’. We argue badly and reguarly principally because we lack an education in how to teach others who we are. We argue in an ugly way because, in our times of distress, we lose access to all better methods of explaining our fears. We can stay calm with almost everyone in our lives. If we lose our temper with our partners, it is — at best, in part — because we are so invested in them and our joint futures.
The School of Life
All I can say is choose your battles wisely. If it’s something small, it’s not worth arguing about. And NEVER EVER bring up the past or a past argument in a present argument because it’s never ends well. The only things worth arguing about and should be done in a rational, mature way is when you feel there is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Arguments are unvoidable and inevitable in life and relationships and unfortunately even if you know you’re right, you have to remember that not everyone feels the same way.
It’s important to recognise that the point of arguments is to better understand the other person and not just to voice out your frustrations and anger. Most of the time arguments are just misunderstandings between people. And in the process, you should never attack the other person’s character. Don’t forget this is someone you care about, try not to belittle them or question their worth.
Be direct and honest when arguing and don’t expect the other person to read your mind.
And depending on the emotion, although it’s difficult, monitor your tone of voice and body language and try to have a neutral perspective.
Ultimately the goal is not to persuade the other person but to turn an argument into a productive discussion — listening and understanding the other person is important before a solution can be reached. All conflicts should be resolved with discussions where as arguments is about winning and more often than not results in two losers.
If you do say something out of line – apologise.
Remember, compassion is important in situations of conflict. Rather than approaching an argument emotionally charged, try not to let your ego take over and remember to be empathetic towards the other person.
And when you contemplate giving up and walking out the door, ask yourself — will this action help the relationship or harm it? When you hit a point when you’re about to blow a fuse, sometimes a little space and time can really save the day.