“All’s fair in love and war.” Right? We’ve all heard the famous Miguel de Cervantes comparison from Don Quixote quote, but when it comes to dating and communication, does this always apply?
As much as we may all try to win arguments we have with our partner, the trait of being a fair communicator is key to making a relationship successful. Let’s be honest: we all have disagreements swith our partners, and what we should realize is that this isn’t necessarily the sign of a bad relationship; it’s actually quite the contrary. We all come from different backgrounds, raised in different families, and often hold conflicting values. These inherent differences are going to have us carry distinct and unique viewpoints and values in our lives and life choices—and they may or may not be the same values your S.O. holds.
This brings us to our topic at hand: 7 things successful people do when arguing with a significant other. In working with couples as long as I have, I’ve realized that successful couples know how to fight fairly. As such, I’ve rounded up some tips for you to keep in mind— so that next time you’re in in a disagreement with your partner, you can hopefully reach a resolution (and not resentment).
Ahead, read up on 7 things successful couples do when in an argument. Plus, shop everything you’ll need for the perfect date night at home.
Really listen, not stay silent while trying to come up with what you are going to say next. Pay attention to what our partner is saying so you can get a better understanding of their viewpoint and try. This way you can respond thoughtfully to what your partner just said. This will show that their opinion does matter to you
2. BE PRESENT
Be present—both physically and emotionally. To avoid miscommunication, always try to discuss things in person as opposed to via text or phone. This way you can also pay attention to your partners’ nonverbal cues like their body language.
3. AVOID SARCASM
R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Respect is one of the pillars of a healthy relationship and when you use name calling and sarcasm, you’re are dismissing and disrespecting your partner.
4. USE “I” STATEMENTS
The key to keeping cool in discussions is to lead non-defensive communication, and the best way to do this is by using statements that start with “I.” For example, “I feel this” and “I understand that.” This way your partner doesn’t feel like they are being attacked and gets and understanding of how they are directing affecting you
5. DON’T INTERRUPT
This goes along with listening, but it’s so important it dresses it’s own place on the list. It is important to let your partner finish their thought so that they feel understood and heard. Once they have fully expressed their point, come in and discuss what is on your mind.
6. DON’T GET EMOTIONAL
Nothing positive will come from starting a discussion when you don’t feel stable enough to make your point effectively as well as be open to hear what your partner has to say. Instead, take time and even journal your thoughts until you are ready to communicate in a more productive way.
7. KEEP AN OPEN MIND
When you’re in the thick of a relationship, it can be tough to keep an open mind. After all, we’ve all grown up with certain belief systems, but you should always be willing to keep an open mind. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been together for two weeks or two years, keeping an open mind will you have a longer, healthier, and happier relationship.
What communication traits do you look for in a partner? Share them with us below!
Welcome to our Dear Mariam column, where each month Dr. Mariam Esfahani, Marriage & Family Therapist and founder of Beach Cities Counseling and Therapeutic Services, will help navigate tricky relationship dilemmas. Come back each month for relationships secrets, dating advice, and secrets to making love and dating less crazy and more fun.