Every couple argues. No two people are exactly alike, so disagreements happen in even the healthiest of relationships. But, did you know that the way you argue in your relationship can actually help you to become stronger as a couple?
People tend to think of disagreements as negative things. They certainly can be, if you’re holding onto resentment, or you’re in a toxic relationship with someone who is purposefully trying to hurt you.
But, if your arguments aren’t about insults and you both realize you’re on the same team, you can actually boost your relationship by arguing effectively.
In fact, couples who argue the right way are actually often happier together than those who don’t.
So, what can you do to argue effectively in your relationship, and build your bond even stronger?
1. Address an Issue Immediately
One of the biggest mistakes couples make is trying to avoid arguments. So, they sweep things under the rug or pretend not to be bothered or hurt.
Unfortunately, avoiding an issue that’s bothering you won’t make it go away. Most of the time, it actually makes it worse. So, you’ll find yourself bringing up that issue during a different argument, because you’ve been holding onto it for so long. When you do that, you could end up resenting your partner or feeling “off” in your relationship, just because you’re nervous about starting an argument.
2. Don’t Speak in Absolutes
Two of the worst words you can use in an argument are “always” and “never”. Arguing that way can lead to strawman fallacies. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, there are plenty of strawman examples to look at.
For instance, let’s say you’re making pasta with garlic sauce for dinner and your partner indicates that they don’t like garlic.
If you respond with, “you never like anything I cook!”, you’re misrepresenting what your partner said. Don’t assume that just because your partner says or does something is automatically a personality trait or characteristic. Don’t speak in absolutes, and focus on specific instances, instead.
3. Practice Active Listening
When something is important enough to argue about, chances are you’re passionate about the way it makes you feel and your opinion. But, that doesn’t mean you get control of the floor the entire time.
In order to effectively work through an argument, listening is extremely important. You don’t have to agree with everything your partner says. But, showing them that you’re really listening and trying to understand their point of view will usually make a big difference. Everyone wants to feel heard and respected. By listening, you’re showing your partner that even though you disagree, you still respect them and your relationship. It’s a good way to diffuse arguments faster and allow them to be more productive.
So, don’t shy away from arguments in your relationship. Are they always easy to get through? No. But, if you know how to argue the right way, they can make you stronger as a couple, and boost your communication skills for years to come.