Disagreements are inevitable in relationships, but there’s no reason why they should be hurtful or detrimental to your partnership.
In fact, arguments can bring couples closer together and strengthen love bonds.
From picking the perfect time to discuss your “issue” to holding your body in a way that shows you’re really listening, learn to let love spats enrich your relationship rather than tear it apart.
Timing Is Everything
While it’s almost always a good idea to talk through the frustrations in your relationship, there are some moments when expressing yourself actually makes things worse. When the conversation seems to be getting out of control and all you want to do is go for their jugular, you’re apt to say things that inflame the situation and inflict hurt rather than work toward a solution.
Do yourself a favor and the next time you’re in the heat of the moment (and I don’t mean in the hot-and-heavy way), wait until things cool down before hashing it out. This is especially true when you’re feeling tired or cranky, stressed, rushed or a little bit tipsy.
Learn to Listen
We all think we’re good listeners. After all, we talk with people every day so we must be experts, right? Did you hear me? The sad and shocking fact is that we’re more likely to really listen to co-workers than to our lovers. It’s easy to take partners for granted and give them our half-hearted attention.
To truly listen, make your mate the center of your attention. Turn your face and torso toward them (uncrossing your arms and legs), and show them you’re alert by making eye contact and nodding in acknowledgement as they speak. Your lover, in turn, will feel that he or she is being heard and will be more likely to continue communicating positively.
Talking Loud and Saying Nothing
You may talk a lot, but do you communicate effectively? Guys and dolls have varying interaction styles. Learning to recognize those differences will clear the way for smoother, less turbulent discussions. Women are more likely than men to be comfortable discussing their feelings and sensitive issues. The female persuasion is also more likely to want to explore and flesh out all aspects of issues.
Men, on the other hand, usually look to zone in on the problem and solve it right away. To find common ground, dudes should try to give dudettes the time they need to explore their feelings and talk the situation through, and women should realize that when men offer a fix-it solution, they are actually trying to help the situation in the best way they know how.
Prevent bad communication patterns from settling into your relationship — it’s easier to nip a nasty nuisance in the bud than break a well-established pattern of behavior. Remember to ask about and listen to your companion’s thoughts rather than just letting your own day’s dilemmas dump out of you.
Try your hardest to avoid interrupting them when they’re piping up, and steer clear of introducing a frustration with the dreaded “You always,” which is much more accusatory than saying, “I felt this way when you did such-and-such.”
Try and Try Again
The best advice? Keep trying. Practice makes perfect, and the more you talk, the more you’ll learn about how best to approach discussions with your partner. And you’ll be communicating with each other for the rest of your lives if things go swimmingly, so there’s no time like the present to get blissfully blabbing. Good luck and happy spatting.
By Kelly Jones