Seven Tips for Productive Arguing - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog

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Seven Tips for Productive Arguing

These could save your relationship.

By 

Spice, as you all know, is the secret recipe to any good dish. A good amount of it brings out the flavor — the zing — that everyone wants to taste. Just like with food, a healthy and exciting relationship results from a good combination of variations. No matter how well a couple gets along, due to the differences in social and family backgrounds, you can expect to have conflict. But there’s a silver lining! Believe it or not, the differences, along with some amount of healthy fighting, can also bring couples closer to each other.

Seven Tips for Productive Arguing

Some of the personality differences may not come out during the early stages of the relationship. More often than not, we filter out what we don’t want to see. God knows, I’ve had my share of turning a blind eye! But as we get comfortable and become more intimate, even the seemingly trivial things could become valid reasons for arguments, leading to fights. Instead of avoiding conflict and argument, couples must learn to engage in smart fights.

Fighting is normal — what’s important is how the conflict is managed. The way a couple manages the conflict determines if they are headed for a breakup or not.

Seven Tips for Productive Arguing

In school, we’re trained on how to apply certain skills, but not how to succeed in relationships nor how to manage conflicts. This is something we need to teach ourselves – and it’s more important than anything we ever learned in school.

When partners learn to “fight well’’ – that is, fighting without determining a loser – they become happier and more secure in each other’s company. When conflict or disagreement sets in, we often find ourselves clueless as to how we should handle the situation without having to hurt each other’s feelings. Here are some ways we can make sure both parties leave unscathed when conflicts arise:

1. Love your opponent

Your “opponent” here is your partner. You may want to argue with him but that doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly with him. While expressing your opinions (maybe with matching hand gestures and all), remain considerate of his (or her) feelings. Be wary of the tone and volume of your voice. This way, you’re more likely to achieve a friendly discussion instead of a heated argument.

2. Speak up, and then shut up

Don’t make the mistake of holding the grudge as long as you can until stress builds up and explodes like a gigantic deadly bubble. Speak up, but keep your arguments short and sweet. Condense your bottom-line point to a short sentence. When you notice that both you and your partner are only blabbering over old issues, stop – it’s time to wave that white flag of friendliness.

Seven Tips for Productive Arguing

3.  Maintain respect

Name calling or blaming should not have any place in the argument. Asking your partner, “What’s wrong with you?”, or speaking in a condescending manner, won’t help resolve your argument. Attacking your mate even in an indirect verbal manner definitely won’t help  your relationship, since this type of discourse is disrespectful and arrogant.

4. Play while you fight

A good fight is actually within the couple’s play zone. You may be wrestling hard with your partner’s idea but when there’s the spirit of play, the argument is also a form of play that both engages you, allows you and your partner to have fun and fool around, and teaches you new ideas. A playful fight can even be a form of foreplay… remember Mr. and Mrs. Smith??

5. Argue with your partner in person

It is very important for a couple to read each other’s mind while fighting; try to understand what they’re feeling and see things from their perspective. The couple can only do this in relatively close proximity, when they can see each other’s eyes and (hopefully) read a thousand unspoken words from there. This is the same reason why “personal talks” are often discussed face to face, not over the phone or via emails and texts.

 6.  Bury the skeletons

Keep arguments short, direct, and within the issue. It’s not healthy to bring up the past, particularly the issues that have already been resolved. Only discuss the current issue that’s been bothering you. Digging up past hurts will not only emotionally overwhelm both of you but will also lead you away from what your are trying to resolve.

7. Don’t try to be the winner

Admit when you’re wrong, and suppress the instinct to prove you’re the “right” or “wronged” party. If you have a need to be seen as the winner, you’ll do so at the loss of the relationship. The best approach is to compromise or –especially in trivial matters– maybe admit you were wrong even if you don’t think you were (depending on the situation, of course), just to end the argument and make your partner feel heard.

  When you notice that both you and your partner are only blabbering over old issues, stop – it’s time to wave that white flag of friendliness.

Couples who learn how to manage conflicts grow more connected to each other. When couples create an environment where differences are respectfully expressed, understood, and accepted, then the bonds of trust and intimacy are strengthened. Some of these points may seem difficult in the heat of the moment, but just remember: Would you rather be right — or happy?

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she spends most of her time in France, NYC, London and Switzerland, and travels extensively around the world. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 105 Comments

  1. Carolyn Kelly

    Holly Molly! Thank you very much I can really relate in this.

  2. Jessica Garcia

    This is exactly tips I have been looking for! Nice one Angela!

  3. Paula Smith

    Oh how I wish my partner would read this! I will make him read this!!!

    • Anne Griffin

      Me Too!!!! We are having several arguments and sometimes we can’t control the words comming from our mouth. This sadden me. I want to save our relationship.

  4. Norma Ward

    Argument arises from money problem and infidelity.

    • Rose Mitchell

      INFIDELITY can really break a relationship. It’s really sad that i’m experiencing this right now… My partner is really not cooperative and he want a divorse.

  5. Linda Cooper

    This topic is really for me and my partner hahaha!

  6. Marilyn Taylor

    Hello to my Hubby! You need to read this!!!

  7. Lois Allen

    Healthy agruments are constructive one! Remember that!

  8. Jacqueline Walker

    Miscommunication is one of the common reason why argument arises. So always listen carefully to your partner and clarify things that is unclear to you.

    • Lori Long

      This is obviously right! You always have to talk in person and not on the phone. Seeing their expression and talking eyes to eyes makes a lot easier to understand your partner.

  9. Amy Simmons

    SORRY is the hardest word to say… But being sorry for your mistakes and your willingness to improve is the best way to save your relationship.

  10. Nicole Miller

    If the argument can’t be resolve in a day take time to think. Give both yourselves a break and talk if you think both of you are ready to compromise.

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