7 Effective Strategies to Help You Fight Less and Love More
The day has been a hectic one. You sat in unbearable morning traffic, dealt with a difficult client, and felt unappreciated by your boss.
You come home at the end of the day, seeking relief, only to find dishes left in the sink. Though a small mistake, you feel yourself become engulfed in anger and frustration which spurs a fight between you and your partner.
Does this scenario sound at all familiar?
Do you feel like sometimes you can’t take the boxing gloves off?
Has fighting taken center stage in your relationship?
Everyone strives to put love first in their relationship. However, there are several factors that can get in the way, such as feeling disconnected, outside stresses, and personal struggles.
You want to love more and fight less, but how?
The Art of Arguing
There are many factors that can contribute to sparking a disagreement. However, not all couples have mastered the art of arguing, in which they can recognize and react appropriately to disagreements before a full-blown fight occurs.
Many of the fights that escalate quickly or are difficult to resolve are due to a miscommunication between individuals.
Some of these instances of miscommunication can include:
- A miscommunication of expectations
- Inflexible or pre-determined outcomes
- Confusing the facts of the situation with the emotional response
- Attempting to discuss multiple issues at once
Learn how to get back on the same wavelength as your partner to prevent fights and encourage love in response to disagreements and daily stresses.
Effective Strategies to Help You Fight Less
1. Cut out the guesswork
When you come to your partner with a concern, know exactly what it is you are upset about and what it is you need from your partner. Passive aggression or beating around the bush only causes tension and confusion.
Furthermore, when you hold on to issues instead of speaking about them directly in real-time, you often have much larger explosions down the road.
2. Stop pointing fingers
The fastest way to shut down a discussion and make your partner defensive is by playing the blame game. Instead of phrasing lines as, “You are,” try using ‘I’ statements like, “I feel frustrated when… .” ‘I’ statements are more approachable and less aggravating than pointing a finger.
3. Ditch the totalities
Words such as ‘never,’ ‘always,’ and ‘none’ are totalities that shut down an exchange fast. This is because totalities eliminate possibilities. If you say to your partner, “you never put me first,” they are more likely to feel defeated and less geared towards finding a solution.
4. Practice listening
It can not be said enough how important it is to be an active listener. Showing someone you are truly listening to what they are saying is a way of expressing care. Even during an argument, active listening skills such as nodding and keeping eye contact, demonstrate to your partner that you respect and care about their thoughts and feelings.
5. Work on the issue solo before coming together as a team
Sometimes disagreements turn into heated arguments simply because the initial emotional response to the incident has clouded the conversation. Therefore, take time to assess what you are feeling and why.
This step not only helps you to calm down but it is also a great way to organize your thoughts about why the incident made you feel the way it did and what solution you are looking for. You’ll find that by doing so, there is less confusion on both yours and your partner’s part during the discussion.
6. Be compassionate
Remember, you love this person! It is easy, in the heat of the moment, to feel hurt and want to hold back your compassion. However, doing so can cause further resentment and puts you on the opposite teams. Acknowledge how your partner is feeling and be ready to look for solutions to problems together.
7. Practice Daily Communication
The best way to avoid excessive arguing is to practice good communication every day. The more you practice, the easier it’ll be to communicate well in the moments that matter most. Plus, having daily communication beyond the “how was your day?” standard talk means that you will be tackling issues as they come and less likely to bottle them up.
Dedicate “talk time” for you and your partner to have meaningful communication without technology or other distractions. You’ll find that not only do issues resolve quicker but more intimacy and connection occurs.
When all else fails, don’t be afraid to seek professional couples counseling. In counseling, you’ll gain better insights as to where your strengths and weakness are as a couple and the tools you need to take off the boxing gloves and turn on the love.