How To Have a Constructive Argument?
“Arguing can be a sign that your relationship is strong and passionate, and that you’re comfortable enough to express negative feelings without fear of losing each other in the process.” ~ Bonnie Eaker Weil ~
Sometimes when couples argue, doubts will be on their mind and some may start to wonder whether their relationship is healthy or not. This is inevitable as we are talking about two different individuals with differing views here. Yes, even though it is prevalent in every relationships, it is still definitely frustrating and distressing to have an argument with your partner! So is it possible at all to have a constructive argument? We have come up with some Tips & Advice on how to go about it:
1. Don’t Fight to be Right and Listen Actively
Your goal in an argument should be achieving compromises and a resolution, and definitely not to WIN the argument. Do not just focus on bringing your own point across, but also let your partner speak and listen to their viewpoints. Arguments is not about having the winning viewpoint entry, but it is more about listening and understanding each other’s viewpoints. You can always agree to disagree, of course in a CONSTRUCTIVE way!
2. Remain Respectful
Do not say things that you know you will regret in the heat of the moment. Remember that your goal is not to upset each other, but to resolve the issue. Respect your partner as well as yourself by keeping calm and refrain from using insults, sarcasm, name calling or even threatening to break up!
Do remember that once words are said, they cannot be taken back! Don’t underestimate the damage those words can do to your partner!
3. Take Responsibility of your Feelings
Starting a sentence with ‘I’ instead of ‘You’ allows you to take responsibility of your feelings instead of putting the blame on your partner. For example:
“I feel neglected and upset when you are out with your friends & not reply to my messages.”
Instead of ... ...
“You make me feel neglected and upset when you are out with your friends & not reply to my messages.”
You can actually see the difference in the delivery of the same message across. When you use ‘You’, your partner may feel being attacked and he/she will start to get defensive. So try your best to focus on how both of you can play a part in changing the situation for the better and share the responsibility of building up a effective communication together!
4. Stay Focused
Always stay focused on ONE issue at hand, and do not bring other issues into the argument.It is crucial that the topic on hand is resolved before moving on to the next issue. If necessary, when both of you gets drained out after some time, you guys can consider a short break before coming together again. But do not sweep the issues under the carpet and ‘think’ that it will resolve over time. Remember, when you do this, all the issues get built up over time and by then it would be even more challenging to resolve it!
5. Choose a Right Timing
There is no other important factor other than choosing the RIGHT timing. Set a date and timing when both of you are already cooled down and ready to talk as well as listen at the same time. You may select a timing when both of you are alone and calm. It is best if the environment lets you feel safe and comfortable to communicate. This will also aid in achieving constructive conversation.
At the end of the day, other than using the above Tips, it is also important that one should apologize and be brave to say ‘sorry’ to the other party when one is in the wrong. Most of the time when one party gives way, the other party will also ‘soften’ and be much more open to listen & share his/her thoughts.
And this is the time when you guys can ‘connect’ and slowly build up to a more effective communication!