How to Navigate Relationship Fights

Mental health,
April, 2023

Relationships can be incredibly rewarding, but they also require work and patience. Disagreements and fights are a normal part of any relationship and they actually help ease tense situations, resolve conflicts, and move the relationship forward. However, if not handled properly, they can become stressful and hurtful. In this article, we will provide you with some tips to help you navigate through fights in your relationships.

Take a step back and cool off

When emotions are running high, it's easy to say things we don't mean. You may end up saying things to your partner you’d regret. Taking a break to cool off can help you get a new perspective and approach the situation with more calm.

How? When you find yourself in a situation where you feel strong emotions that keep you from thinking clearly, try telling your partner: ‘Hey, I see we are both upset. It is important for me that we talk about this and find a solution. But I'm afraid I won't be able to listen to you properly if I am this upset. Let's stop this for now and talk about it again in the evening when we've both calmed down.’

Practice active listening

It's important to hear your partner's perspective and validate their feelings. Listen without interrupting them or dismissing their point of view.

How? Let your partner speak and give them your full attention. Active listening also includes non-verbal communication. For example, by nodding your head or maintaining eye contact, you show your partner you are listening and he or she is important to you.

Communicate your feelings

Talk about your emotions and needs. Use "I" statements instead of blaming or criticizing your partner. By 'I' messages you express how the given situation impacted your current state. Your message won't sound that offensive to your partner, so they won’t feel the need to start defending themselves immediately.

How: Try 'I feel that... and I need...' instead of 'You did... or You're ...'. Thanks to this approach, you can calm down many situations.

Apologize and forgive

If you did or said something hurtful, don't hesitate to apologize. Also, forgive your partner if they did the same. Holding onto grudges will only prolong the tension between you and damage the relationship unnecessarily.

Learn from the past

Use the fight as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and your partner. Reflect on what triggered the argument and how you can prevent similar conflicts in the future.

Remember, disagreements and fights are a natural part of any relationship. It's how you handle them that makes all the difference. By listening, communicating, and forgiving, you can work through conflicts and strengthen your relationship in the process.

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