It’s no secret that all couples argue and that disagreements happen. In fact, it’s a perfectly normal part of any relationship and frankly inevitable. But, there’s a way to fight fairly and even healthy techniques when it comes to getting your point across.
The Key Is How You Argue
So, what is a productive way to disagree with your partner? While conventional wisdom tells us that it’s best to avoid conflict in a relationship, disagreements are unavoidable. Not all conflicts are bad, though. In fact, there’s actually evidence that arguing can be good for a relationship — the key is how you argue. As long as you show respect for your partner, and vice-versa, conflicts won’t negatively impact your relationship. In reality, they might even bring you closer together because you’ll get a better understanding of your significant other. Rather than avoiding disagreements, aim for courteous conflict instead. Adam Grant, a professor of management and psychology at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, even offered a blueprint in The New York Times…
1. “Frame the Argument as a Debate”
The first tip from Adam’s blueprint is to frame the argument as a debate rather than a conflict. It’s important to show each other that you’re on the same team. You’re not there to attack one another but instead, to resolve the issue at hand together.
2. “Listen as if You’re Wrong”
Adam also recommends to argue as if you’re right, but listen as if you’re wrong. What this really means — when it’s your turn to speak, calmly get your point across with conviction and without shouting. When it’s your time to listen, though, give your partner the floor to express themselves and really pay attention to what they have to say. The more respect you show for one another, the better the resolution.
3. “Give the Benefit of the Doubt”
Give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Even if you may not understand or agree with every aspect of your partner’s perspective, it’s important to show them that you’re really listening to them and willing to meet them halfway. With that, remember to make the most respectful interpretation of the other person’s viewpoint.
4. “Acknowledge Your Partner’s Feelings”
Another great technique that you can use when you’re having a disagreement with your partner is acknowledgment. Acknowledge that you hear what they’re saying, where you agree with them, and what you’ve learned from them. That kind of validation is a crucial part of any relationship.
While you can’t always agree on everything, as long as you show each other respect and communicate effectively, you have nothing to worry about. Not only will your relationship survive these disagreements, but it can even become stronger over time. Love is respect, after all!