1. “Just drop it”
Fighting is stressful, and it’s totally understandable if one of you needs to take a short break from the discussion in order to bring yourself back together again. But when tempers are flaring, shutting down the discussion will usually do more harm than good. Instead, professionals say that letting your significant other know that you need a temporary time-out in a calm manner, like for example “I need the opportunity to step back and process it a little bit. I promise I’ll get back to it. ” to collect yourself and think out the situation will benefit you both in coming to a resolution faster and in a good frame of mind.
2. “It shouldn’t be this hard”
If you’ve hit a rough patch in your relationship, consider talking to a marriage counsellor or family therapist, just as many couples have done before. Although many people find talking to a professional as a last resort for a seemingly doomed relationship, it’s actually a recognised way for committed couples to learn to communicate more effectively in a mutual environment.
3. Questioning Love
Even when you and your significant other are in the midst of an argument, it’s important to remember that you’re still a couple that are in love and that you’re still on the same team and trying to build a relationship for the long run.
According to professionals, “An argument shouldn’t invalidate the love in the relationship,” and that “By expressing your own lack of love or questioning your partner’s, you’re doing incredible damage to the relationship. It’s possible to love each other and still argue. In fact, your love will allow you to overcome the disagreement.”
4. “You need..”
Often, arguments between couples revolve around what one or both of you is or isn’t doing in the relationship. and it’s super easy to begin pointing the fingers when things get a little touchy and say things like “you need to do this” or “you need to do that.”
According to professionals, the moment someone in a relationship begins yelling at the other and starts telling the other person what to do, they will automatically go on the defense and won’t hear what comes next. As humans, our initial response will be along the lines of ‘I don’t need to do anything!” which can put tension between couples and make the argument even bigger than it was originally.
Instead, saying things like “It’d be really beneficial if you did this,” as a way of saying what you need, without telling your partner what to do, could be a way to express your feelings without it coming off as an attack.
5. “You never do anything!”
There are always minor things our partners do that can cause a little bit of tension, but kicking off a complaint with “you always” or “you never” puts the other person on the defensive (again), and can make things a little awkward and aggressive. While it might feel like your partner “never” helps you around the house, try to avoid using generalising statements that could potentially make your partner feel unappreciated.
According to professionals, “exaggerating will move you off topic” and they suggest swapping these accusatory phrases with the more calm and personal phrase like, “My concern is…”
6. Nothing at all
Shutting down during an argument or even refusing to say anything or communicate at all is generally known as “stonewalling” and is a common tactic used during intense arguments with your significant other.
According to professionals, “if you simply shut down the entire discussion because you refuse to make an effort to solve the problem, the message you send is ‘I don’t care’ and makes further compromise hard to reach together.
While it’s fine if you’re angry and need some time alone, do let your partner know first, and say you’ll get back to them later. Little tricks like these can help keep an argument from turning from bad to worse.