Here are a few tips to think about when engaging in a conflict or heated argument with your partner:
- Avoid assuming you know what your partner is thinking (mind reading).
- Work toward a win-win solution rather than a win-lose situation.
- Reflect how you feel using “I” statements rather than “you” statements. Example: “I feel angry” rather than “You make me angry”.
- Avoid name calling or belittling. Lift your partner up instead of tearing him or her down.
- Take responsibility for your role in the problem. Avoid blaming.
- Stay emotionally engaged in the conflict. Avoid withdrawing or shutting down to escape the problem.
- When emotions or tempers begin to escalate, agree to take a time out to cool down. Commit to re-engage at a specific time to continue to work through the problem.
- Value your partner by respecting that they may have a different point of view or opinion. At times you can agree to disagree.
- Reflect what your partner says in a way that helps him or her to feel understood. Avoid telling them they are wrong for the way they feel.
- After acknowledging your feelings, identify your needs and desires for the relationship. Example: “I need to know that you care about me” or “I desire to have a closer relationship with you”. Avoid the trap of saying “I need you to…”, because it will likely u your partner on the defensive.
If you and your partner continuously have escalated arguments without compromise or resolution, you can create lasting damage or instability in your relationship. Call me today for assistance at 208-918-1034. My goal is to help restore relationships through couples, family, and marriage counseling in the Treasure Valley areas including Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell, Kuna, and Star, Idaho.