In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to work at our relationships, but that’s just not the case! Emotions often get the best of us, and the 5-year old within emerges to fight about adult issues — it’s not pretty. Arguments and bickering don’t necessarily mean that the love is gone, but if handled incorrectly, they can destroy your relationship. Here are 7 tips for overcoming your destructive bickering habits.
Don’t Bottle Things Up
Avoiding conflicts and ignoring issues in your relationship is a disaster waiting to happen — the tension created is what drives your bickering. It’s best to take time to have a serious talk about what’s going on, your relationship — and sanity — will thank you for it.
How many times have you gotten into an argument, only to realize after that it was all due to an assumption or misunderstanding? It happens all too frequently, so be sure to ask your partner for clarification and to give feedback to ensure that you understand what they’re saying.
The Past is in the Past
Don’t bring up past arguments or issues while arguing, it can just inflame the situation. If you’ve already addressed the issue, opening it up again is pointless and will only cause more hurt. Focus on the now.
Pick Your Battles
If you focus on all of the little things your partner may be doing wrong, or those small annoyances, chances are that you’ll drive each other crazy with bickering. Know when to challenge the issues that really matter to you and your opinions will bear more weight.
Agree to Disagree
You don’t always have to agree with your partner! Sometimes you’ll have to compromise, and other times your partner will have to do the same — it’s just part of any healthy relationship. If your partner isn’t up to doing something, perhaps try it for a trial period so they feel more comfortable in finding a resolution.
Admit When You’re Wrong
You’re not always right. Many times, the hardest part in a situation is to admit that you’re wrong. Put aside your stubbornness and pride, and apologize or go the extra mile by admitting that you’re wrong. Be sure that your apology is sincere — your partner will see right through it otherwise.
If You Must…
Sometimes arguing is unavoidable, so if you must, aim to argue with a resolution in mind instead of just an emotional release. Avoid attacking the other person or using blaming or insulting language, and use “I” statements more than “you” statements — this creates a safe dialogue. In the end, find a mutually acceptable resolution and move on — give your partner a hug, too.
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