Every single couple fights. No matter how happy you are, no matter how much you genuinely love and respect each other, there will always be something that can lead to an argument between you and your partner. These fights don’t mean your relationship is coming to an end though or that it isn’t healthy. There are healthy ways to argue with your partner that can ensure that your relationship comes out stronger than ever and that feelings aren’t hurt in the process. 

Try some of these Do’s and Don’ts the next time you’re in an argument and see how the smallest of changes can ensure that things don’t take a toxic turn. 

Do: Think before you speak 

When we get angry, it is extremely easy for us to throw out words, accusations, and inner thoughts that we could end up regretting once we’ve calmed down. The best way to make sure you don’t have to apologize later or see your partner hurt by something you didn’t mean is to not say it in the first place. 

Before you open your mouth and let those angry words fly, take a moment to think through what you are about to say. Think about how your partner will feel and how you will feel once those words are out in the open. Do they still seem worth it? Is there a better and more productive way to word these opinions? Taking this time to think before you speak can make a huge difference in how you both continue in your relationship once this argument is settled. 

Don’t: Use exaggerating words like “Always” and “Never”

For those of us with a bit of dramatic streak, it can be easy to use absolutes like “You never do this” or “You always do that” when we know that it isn’t true. While these individual words can bolster our side of the argument in the moment, they aren’t productive when it comes to actually solving the issue being argued about. It will be easy for our partner to deflect these exaggerations and the cycle of not actually discussing things will just continue. 

Don’t tell your partner that they “never” listen to you or have “always” left you to do the dishes. Tell them that this week, this day, this moment you felt like you weren’t being heard or weren’t able to do the dishes and would have appreciated them doing it instead. You’ll save both of you a lot of time when you don’t have to then shift through the inevitable, “I totally did the dishes last week on Tuesday!” part of the argument. 

Do: Listen actively, not passively 

A lot us pretend to be listening when we really aren’t. We are not listening to our partner’s side of the argument. We are just waiting for them to be done, so we can continue with our own perspective. Doing this can often leave the argument going in circles and unresolved even if you decide to stop fighting. 

Actively listen to what your partner is saying, even if you disagree or it’s hard to hear. Their perspective matter just as much in your relationship as yours does and actively listening to what they’re saying can make you understand why they are frustrated or unhappy with something. 

You don’t have to agree with them or change what you think, but you do have to give them that fair chance to explain why they are feeling the way they feel. 

Don’t: Bring up other topics during the fight

What your partner did two months ago has nothing to do with the fight you are having today. Them not picking up their laundry has nothing to do with the fact they don’t want to spend the holidays with your family. Bringing up other topics and issues during an argument doesn’t make you the instant winner. That “gotcha” moment has done nothing to solve the fight your currently having and has only sent your argument on a tangent it may never come back from. 

Stick to the topic at hand. Try to resolve one issues before you bring in another. Your partner will definitely appreciate not feeling like they’ve been ambushed, and you will definitely appreciate actually resolving an argument instead of getting trapped in multiple at once. 

Do: Be introspective on what you’ve done in the situation 

It is really easy for us to put blame on the other person during an argument. Especially if it seems like they’ve done something obviously wrong, but it’s important to always look towards ourselves and see where we can also improve. Did we communicate what we wanted or just assumed they should know? Did we give them time to explain or did we jump straight into criticism? A fight can end a lot faster if we realize some of our own mistakes in getting to that point. 

However, if you’re in an abusive relationship or experiencing gas-lighting then it is important that you understand that blaming yourself is not the same thing as the above said introspection. No one deserves to be mistreated and there is no blame to be put on a victim. 

Don’t: Assume that all situations will be solved in one conversation 

Some arguments can’t be solved in one conversation. Topics like moving, weddings, and family issues won’t find themselves fixed instantly even if you use all the other tips. Don’t assume that you only have this single conversation to fix what is wrong between the two of you. There will be more conversations to be had when this one is done, instead concentrate on making progress on the issue and making sure that both of you are being open and honest about it. 

There is no exact blueprint in how to settle an argument perfectly and have both people feeling satisfied and justified. But the above tips can help you make sure that you never leave an argument worst off than it started and that your relationship continues to progress in a healthy manner.

Stormi R