10 Things You Should Never Do During An Argument & 10 You Should Do Instead

10 Things You Should Never Do During An Argument & 10 You Should Do Instead

Arguments with your partner can feel like navigating a minefield. Sometimes, the heat of the moment can make us forget that the goal isn't to win, but to understand and be understood. To keep the argument from escalating into a full-blown war, here are 10 things you absolutely should not do.

1. Don't Raise Your Voice

Raising your voice might seem like a way to get your point across, but it often does the opposite. It can make your partner feel attacked and defensive, shutting down any productive conversation. Keep your tone calm and steady; it's more likely to encourage a calm response in return.

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2. Avoid Personal Attacks

In the heat of an argument, it's easy to start attacking your partner's character instead of addressing the issue at hand. This only leads to hurt feelings and can cause lasting damage to your relationship. Focus on the behaviour or situation that upset you, not the person themselves.

eric-ward-7KQe_8Meex8-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Eric Ward on Unsplash 

3. Don't Bring Up the Past

Dragging past grievances into a current argument can quickly make the situation overwhelming and off-topic. It prevents you from solving the immediate issue and can lead to a cycle of unresolved arguments. Stick to the present and deal with one issue at a time.

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4. Never Threaten the Relationship

Threatening to break up in the heat of an argument is manipulative and harmful. It creates fear and insecurity within the relationship. Instead, affirm your commitment to working things out, even when things get tough.

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5. Don't Stonewall

Shutting down and refusing to communicate, also known as stonewalling, only escalates the frustration and solves nothing. It's okay to ask for a timeout if you need to cool down, but make sure to come back to the conversation. Communication is key to resolving conflicts.

jackson-simmer-isVYj70Ar-E-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Jackson Simmer on Unsplash 

6. Avoid Making Assumptions

Assuming you know why your partner did something or how they feel about it can add fuel to the fire. Instead, ask questions to understand their perspective. Remember, it's not about proving you're right but about understanding each other.

artem-beliaikin-aE4LRTRnQOU-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash 

7. Don't Use Absolutes

Using words like "always" and "never" can make your partner feel criticized and defensive. These absolutes are rarely accurate and prevent a fair discussion about the specific issue. Focus on the current situation and avoid generalizing.

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8. Avoid Distractions

Trying to argue while scrolling through your phone or watching TV can make your partner feel undervalued and ignored. Give the argument, and your partner, the respect of your full attention. It shows you're serious about resolving the issue.

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9. Don't Try to Win

An argument with your partner isn't a competition that one of you needs to win. Approaching it as such undermines the partnership. Instead, aim for a solution or understanding that benefits both of you.

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10. Avoid Laughing or Mocking

Laughing at or mocking your partner during an argument is disrespectful and hurtful. It can diminish their feelings and make them less likely to share with you in the future. Keep a respectful demeanor, even if you disagree with what's being said.

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Turning a heated argument into a constructive conversation is an art that requires patience, understanding, and respect. Here are 10 positive actions to take during an argument with your partner that can help both of you navigate through the conflict more effectively:


1. Listen Actively

Make a conscious effort to really listen to what your partner is saying, instead of planning your next rebuttal. Nodding, making eye contact, and paraphrasing what they've said shows that you're engaged and value their perspective.

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2. Use "I" Statements

Communicate your feelings and thoughts without blaming your partner by using "I" statements. For example, say "I feel upset when..." instead of "You always make me upset by...". This approach is less likely to make your partner defensive.

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3. Stay Focused on the Issue

Keep the argument centered on the current issue. Avoid the temptation to veer off into unrelated topics. This helps to resolve the matter at hand without overwhelming each other with multiple grievances.

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4. Acknowledge Your Partner's Feelings

Validating your partner's feelings doesn't mean you agree with them, but it does show that you respect their emotions. Saying something like, "I understand why you're upset" can go a long way in calming tensions.

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5. Take Turns Speaking

Make sure both of you have equal time to express your thoughts and feelings without interruption. This ensures that both perspectives are heard and valued, which is crucial for finding a resolution.

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6. Seek to Understand, Not to Counter

Approach the argument with the goal of understanding your partner's point of view, rather than just defending your own. This can lead to more empathetic interactions and solutions that consider both sides.

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7. Keep Calm

Maintain a calm demeanor, even if the topic is emotionally charged. Taking deep breaths, speaking slowly, and maintaining a relaxed posture can help de-escalate the argument.

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8. Take a Time-Out If Needed

If emotions are running too high, suggest taking a short break to cool down. Agree on a time to resume the discussion. This can prevent the argument from getting out of control and give both parties time to think.

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9. Look for Compromise

Try to find a middle ground where both of you can agree. Compromise doesn't mean one person gives in; it means finding a solution that respects both partners' needs and concerns.

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10. End on a Positive Note

Regardless of the outcome, try to conclude the argument with a positive gesture, such as a hug, a kind word, or an expression of appreciation for each other's willingness to communicate. It's important to reinforce your bond and commitment to each other, even after disagreements.

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