Avery and I have never explicitly discussed how we would handle our relationship and what we put out into the social media realm. But we do have a sort of unspoken rule to just not post badly about the other. Believe me, there have been times where it would have been so easy to tweet out something nasty about him or an argument to have random people tell me I’m right in the situation. But every time I get the urge to do so, I stop and think about it. Sometimes I even write it out in a tweet and save it in a draft. Every single time, I end up deleting before I even send it out or forgetting about it in my drafts folder. Sure, it may feel good in the moment when you’re heated and ready to win at any cost, but when you’ve cooled down enough to want to talk it out, you not only have to talk about the initial argument, you also must talk/apologize for the way you handled it.
People often feel more confident online than they do in real life. Not every thought needs to be broadcast to the entire world via the internet; some aspects of a relationship should remain private. That’s not to say you can’t vent to your best friend about your relationship, but it’s a different ballpark when you decide to invite strangers to have a look into intimate parts of your relationship.
I’m sharing this becasue I know everyone has arguments, big or small. I’m in no way saying that the following suggestions are necessarily the right way for everyone to handle their relationship spats, but here are some healthier ways we can work towards settling an argument.
- Take a step back.
Not to say you should let the issue fester about for days, but sometimes you need a minute (or an hour) to gather your thoughts and think about what is truly the issue. I find that 99% of the time when I truly think about the issue, it’s very , VERY stupid. (Don’t ever say this to your partner because it may just exacerbate the actual problem.)
- Listen to what the other person is saying.
Even if you don’t agree with an ounce of what the other person is saying, give them the floor for a second. Just listen and don’t say a word. Sometimes, this is just as important as offering an apology.
Don’t stay mad just because you don’t want to be wrong. Sometimes, even if you’re wrong, you need to take one for the team. There are sure to be times in the future where you’re wrong but can’t admit it, and it would feel nice for your partner to give you an out by apologizing. Very few arguments in a relationship are worth the anger and resentment.
- Try your very hardest not to keep fighting the same fight.
This is one of the hardest steps on this list because it requires communication and finding lasting solutions to our problems. A lot of us like to avoid having tough conversations, so it’s easier to keep fighting. This isn’t healthy and eventually one of you will get tired of it. Work on having good communication when you’re not having an argument, so that way it’s easier to be honest when you are having a fight. Solving issues the first time, will lower the chances of repeating the same fight again. (Sorry Avery, but I have a feeling you’re always going to have to remind me to run the garbage disposal, unless you want to take over dish duty.)
If you have any tips you would like to add to this list, please do. Or if you disagree with any of my tips, please leave a comment below.