The Right Way To Avoid Arguments In Your Relationship

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Disagreements are inevitable in a relationship. They are healthy until they turn into arguments. These arguments can be so destructive. Suddenly we stop talking in a loving matter and start hurting each other, we blame, accuse, complain, demand…

Instead of arguing and hurting each other, it’s important to cool down before discussing the issue. Most disagreements can be easily resolved with mutual understanding and loving and respectful communication.

Not arguing doesn’t mean to hide and suppress negative feelings. It is still possible to express your negative feelings without arguing. If anything, suppressing negative feelings, while in the short-term can prevent arguments, in the long-term, it leads to growing resentment and eventually love dies. If arguing is a war, suppressing negative feelings is a cold war.

 It’s Not What We Argue About, It’s How We Argue.

An argument doesn’t have to be hurtful. We are different and we’re bound to have different points of view from our partner on some subjects which makes disagreements almost inevitable. However, people would start arguing about one thing and within five minutes, they start arguing about the way they are arguing. And because of the way they’re being approached, they automatically reject listening to their partner's point of view and start defending themselves. They're hurting each other in the process.

It is quite common for a man, when being challenged, to focus on being right and defending himself. He then forgets to be loving and his caring tone decreases. Because of his uncaring tone, his woman starts feeling upset. The man mistakenly assumes that she’s upset about the disagreement. He tells her not to be upset and tries to give her all the logical reasons why this issue shouldn’t upset her. He’s focused on the content of what he’s saying, while the woman is upset about the way he’s delivering his speech. She becomes resistant and unreceptive to what he’s saying. He’s defending his point of view, while she’s defending herself from his tone of arguing.

Similarly, a woman might unknowingly hurt her man’s feelings while arguing. When a woman is challenged, her tone becomes increasingly mistrusting and rejecting. This can hurt a man especially if he is emotionally involved. And without acceptance and trust, a man responds negatively and tries to defend himself. He takes it personally.

Arguments Strategies.

There are mainly four positions individuals take to avoid arguments. Two that concerns men and the other two concerns women. These tactics, while effective in the short-term, they’re counterproductive on the long haul.

Men arguing tactics.

1- Fight.

When challenged, some individuals tend to get offensive. They believe that to defend yourself, you need to get offensive. They start blaming, criticizing, judging… in order to intimidate the other person into loving and supporting them. They tend to yell and express their anger to make the other person look wrong. And when the latter backs down, they think they’d won, while in fact, they’d lost.

Using strength to get what you want from someone else is a sign of weakness. It not only hurts the other person, but it also hurts the relationship. It weaknesses trust in the relationship and the couple finds it increasingly difficult to be open and vulnerable. Women close up to protect themselves and men shut down and stop caring as much.

2- Flight.

If fighting is a war, flighting is a cold war. Some men choose to retreat and pull away when they have a disagreement with their partner. This is not like taking a time out to cool down. They choose not to talk and nothing gets resolved. In the short-term, this brings in peace and harmony, but in the long-term it builds resentment. Both partners start to lose their passion and drift apart.

To get what they want from their partner, they choose to withhold their love. While fighting is directly hurting, depriving their partner of the love she needs is indirectly hurting and sure enough, she too won’t be able to give as much.

Women’s arguing tactics.

1- Fake.

Women might pretend that everything is fine to avoid conflicts. Surely, in the short-term, the couple is arguing less, but in the long run, the woman is blocking her natural need to express her negative feelings. She’s sacrificing and denying her feelings, desires and needs to avoid possible conflicts. But she’s also growing resentful and unhappy.

A man might use the words “Fine, It’s alright, It’s okay” but that would be a different meaning. What he’s meaning is It’s fine because: “I can handle this. I know what to do. I’m dealing with it and I can figure this out alone”. But when a woman uses these terms, then that’s a sign that she’s avoiding an argument and repressing her negative feelings.

2- Fold.

With this strategy, the person gives in whenever an argument arises. She takes the blame and assumes the responsibility of whatever is upsetting her partner. What looks like a supportive and loving relationship from the outside, is actually a denial and self-rejection from the inside. This person is trying to sense her partner’s desires and then mold herself in order to please him. She loses herself in the process and she’s increasingly growing resentful.

Behind each of these strategies the man or the woman is trying to protect himself/herself from being hurt. Unfortunately, avoiding arguments doesn’t work that way. What works is the following.

How To Avoid Arguing?

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It takes two people to argue, but it only takes one to stop the argument. Here are some practical tips to help you avoid arguments when disagreeing:

#1- First and foremost, you need to remember that most of the time, we’re not arguing about an issue, but about the way we’re discussing the issue.

#2- Take a responsibility to recognize when a disagreement is turning into an argument. Right then stop the argument, and take a time-out to cool down.

#3- Reflect on the way you’re approaching your partner and acknowledge his needs.

#4- After cooling down, go back and talk about the issue in a loving and respectful tone.

What The Man Needs.

A man can best handle arguments when he feels loved. However, when he’s deprived of the love he needs, he becomes defensive. On the surface, he might look like he’s discussing the issue at hand, but the real reason for the argument, is because he doesn’t feel loved.

Feeling disapproved of, is equally painful for a man, especially when it comes from his favorite woman. Women often don’t express their feelings directly. Instead of telling her man how his being late worried her, she asks a rhetorical question like "How could you be so late?". Instead of hearing her feelings, the man is hearing her disapproval.

Giving the love and approval a man needs when discussing an issue, is the way to lead an effective conversation and avoid arguments.

What The Woman Needs.

A common pattern for many arguments goes like the following:

1- The woman expresses her negative feelings about an issue.
2- The man explains to her why she shouldn’t feel upset about that issue.
3- The woman becomes more upset about her feelings being invalidated than she is upset about the issue.
4- The man becomes upset as well and blames his woman for upsetting him.
5- The woman apologizes and wonders what happened. Or she becomes more upset and the argument escalates.

While listening to your woman, try to understand why she’s upset and console her instead of telling her why she shouldn’t be upset.

When a woman talks, she’s relieving herself. Eventually, she starts to feel better and her problems seem to be solved just by talking them out. She doesn’t need solutions or advice. She just needs a chance to express herself.


Apologizing can be difficult for men, because, for them, it means that you’ve done something wrong and you’re apologizing. However, for women, to say “I’m sorry” means “I care about you”. They’re not apologizing for doing something wrong, but they choose peace and express their caring feelings by apologizing. Therefore, a man learning to say “I’m sorry” is the easiest way to derail an argument. For example, when your woman is upset and expressing her negative feelings about something, try to understand why she’s feeling upset and say: “I’m sorry because you feel that way about that issue.”

While you may not like to argue with your significant other, it might happen sometimes. However, when you keep in mind that you approach arguments differently and try to meet the other person’s needs, arguments become more manageable and won’t hurt your relationship.

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