How to Argue (Better) With Your Significant Other

When two people are in a relationship, arguments are bound to happen. Sometimes they can be about big topics like finances. Other times, they can be over little things like doing the dishes. In either case, conversations can get a little heated. So, how do you get your point across without the discussion turning into a fight? Here are some tips for arguing with your significant other.

Take Time to Process

It’s been said you should never go to bed angry. But is it a good idea to have an important conversation when you aren’t ready? In the heat of the moment, you both could say things you don’t mean or that are hurtful. Sometimes the best thing you can do is process how you feel, then come back to the discussion later when you have had time to cool off. The timing of a conversation can play a large role in how productive it is.

Remember You’re a Team

Arguments are not bad; they serve a purpose, which is to help each person in a relationship understand the other’s perspective. Things take a turn when arguments become something to “win.” If you are in a relationship, it can be helpful to remember that you are doing life with them, not against them.

Use “I” Statements

To avoid finger-pointing and playing the blame game, try to explain your feelings to your significant other using “I” statements. Instead of placing the guilt on your partner, try to describe your point of view. If you start the conversations with criticism, they may feel attacked and put their guard up.

Keep the Problem Separate

Sometimes, people can feel like they are fighting against the other’s perspectives. Maybe you both pick “sides,” and you feel the need to defend yourselves. Keep in mind: Arguments can be the most productive when you and your significant other fight the problem, not each other. Identify the issue or stressor, then ask, “What should we do about this?”

Repeat What the Other Says

In an argument, it’s common to have misunderstandings and miscommunications. One way to avoid this is to repeat what your partner says back to them. This provides an opportunity for you both to be on the same page. Not only can it clear up any misinterpretations, but it can also help validate the other person’s feelings. Sometimes, all it takes to de-escalate a heated conversation is to say, “I hear you, and I understand how you feel.”

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, relationship arguments are normal. The important thing to remember is that these conversations serve as a way to understand each other’s viewpoints, and they can be healthy, beneficial, and even productive when handled correctly

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