Finding the middle ground in an argument can be a tough thing to do but successful couples know how not to tick each other off.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on May 20, 2021. It has since been updated.
Quarrels are inevitable in a relationship and whether you can find common ground and get a happy outcome from them really depends on how you handle them. If none of the partners are willing to compromise and have checked out of the relationship, it will be hard to reconcile. Some things in a fight are acceptable while there are some things that are complete relationship killers. Even if you do it inadvertently, it can be hard to make a comeback from there. There are some basic things that you can't say or do in a relationship, because of how disastrous it will be.
Here are five things that you should NEVER do in a fight with a partner:
With both of your tempers flaring, don't give in to the temptation to insult by calling names. That would hardly ever solve the problem at hand. It would only aggravate your partner and bring out the immature side of you. Even during fights, stay respectful to each other if you want to successfully navigate through this argument. Holding your tongue will be the ideal way forward here, according to Bustle.
Don't emotionally freeze up and check out of the fight. It leaves your partner very confused since nothing about the problem was resolved. Your partner needs a warning if you want to take a break from the argument and it is overwhelming you with emotions. Take a breather, but just let your partner know.
“In heterosexual couples, this is typically the guy, who may feel overwhelmed, or afraid of his own anger, or perhaps this is a passive-aggressive way of striking back,” marriage and family therapist Amy Begel told HuffPost. “Whatever the unconscious motivations, this maneuver is unfair, covert bullying and cowardly. It reduces the other partner to rubble, emotionally.”
When a problem escalates to the point of tempers flaring and raised voices (also something you should try not to do), work on what to do next. Focussing on the future would help you resolve the issue than fester it. At this point, it is about healing than proving who was right.
“If their partner is important to them, the ‘I’m right’ person needs to take the time to listen and be open to what their partner has to say,” psychotherapist Carol A. Lambert told HuffPost. “Finding middle ground or agreeing to disagree helps a relationship to thrive while both partners feel worthy of consideration.”
Restrict the argument to the issue at hand instead of bringing up previous fights. The past is done and dusted; keep it that way. If you bring in past slights, it will be frustrating for the partner.
"Don't introduce other topics until each is fully discussed," say therapists at the University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center, according to Bustle. "This avoids the 'kitchen sink' effect where people throw in all their complaints while not allowing anything to be resolved."
Arguments are natural so keep your cool through it. In any argument, both of you have had a part to play. So, acknowledge that part and apologize if it was your fault. Then continue discussing the problem with your partner and express yourself freely. Keep an ear open for what your partner has to say as well.
In any communication, there is verbal and non-verbal language involved. Sometimes our focus is so centered on the verbal part that we forget about the non-verbal part.
“Feelings that are common in conflict ― such as anger, frustration, and emotional pain ― tend to come with big energy,” marriage and family therapist Lynsie Seely told HuffPost. “As a result, we may inadvertently ‘puff up’ or get big, slam a fist on the table, make large and abrupt gestures, get up into the other person’s personal space or yell loudly.”
We might do this unawares but it can still put off your partner. Consider doing some breathing exercises to stay calm.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Catherine Falls Commercial