No matter how much you adore someone, there will be conflict. Here are 7 practical tips to stop fighting with your partner – and find your way back to closeness and calm.
When disagreements occur – are you fighting fairly?
Or are you being a jerk when tensions rise high?
Everyone of us has a little streak of jerk.
The goal: Keep this streak as little as possible – so as not to damage valued relationships.
With all this in mind here are…
Make sure you state out loud in the beginning of a conflict that your goal is to resolve the conflict in a way which helps your relationship to succeed.
Plus, agree that you both will try to…
Generalizations will only escalate your partner’s emotional state – because they’re more vague to discuss, and less believable.
Come on. Be honest with yourself. A realistic “always” action is a very rare thing.
Psychologists all agree it’s best to limit your talk to the one specific recent event that is bugging you, and make past offenses not admissible evidence.
Know that when someone is angry, it’s because they feel that whatever thing the other person said or did was a sign of not loving them enough.
View the other person’s anger through this lens. And try to understand how childhood trauma might be affecting each of you.
When you have this conscious insight about anger, you can more swiftly feel better about sharing loving words and a loving response with your angry partner.
For example: angry, resentful, hurt, embarrassed, humiliated, vulnerable, afraid, uptight, depressed.
Researcher Matthew Lieberman from UCLA discovered that when you directly state out loud that you’re feeling a negative emotion — like anger — you can calm this emotion by 50% — because it halves your “amygdala activation” to consciously observe your emotions.
I want you to double up the benefits of this halving. After you’ve named a negative emotion, rename it with a positive.
State a positive emotion that you want to feel instead: acceptance, forgiveness, surrendering, empathy, warmth, love, understanding.
Try to use this positive word as much as possible in your conversation with your partner.
Decide to give each of yourselves your own segmented 10 minute expression non-interrupted time block to talk and be heard — until you both feel heard.
It’s very harmful to a conversation with your sweetie if your arms are crossed or your face is sneering.
Studies show it helps to hold each other’s hands while having a difficult conversation because due to Neural Linguistic Programming it taps into the “I love you” reminders in your brain.
End a difficult conversation by creating an obvious upside to talking –so you and your partner will want to share honest difficult conversations again.
In other words, be sure to close the conversation by consciously listing all the positive things you learned and committing to try not to repeat whatever caused the conflict in the first place.