When it comes to relationships, disagreements and fights are inevitable. Given that your life is now intertwined with your partner’s, it’s completely normal for disputes to arise from time to time.
But how can you improve the odds of a successful resolution to the conflicts in your relationship? Here are three research-backed tips we think will help you out!
Talk about how you feel without pushing blame.
Statements that directly attack your partner’s character can be especially damaging to a relationship. A more constructive strategy is to use “I statements” and pair them with behavior descriptions that your partner may be engaging in. For example, instead of saying “You’re disrespectful for flirting with other girls!” say, “I feel disrespected when you flirt with other girls.”
This tactic helps you make your point clear without impugning your partner’s character.
Be careful about how you use the words “never” or “always”
When addressing a particular problem, you should avoid making generalizations about your partner. Statements like “You never help out around the house,” or, “You’re always canceling plans” are likely to make your partner defensive. Rather than prompting a discussion about how your partner could be more helpful or attentive, this strategy is likely to lead your partner to start an aggressive argument.
One great way to reach a resolution is to show your significant other that you’re paying attention by using active listening techniques. When your partner speaks, paraphrase what they say to prevent unnecessary misunderstandings. You can also conduct a perception-check, which is done by making sure you’re interpreting your partner’s reactions correctly. For example, “You seem offended by my statement — Am I right?” These strategies both prevent misunderstandings and show your partner that you genuinely care about what they’re saying and feeling.
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