Every couple fights sometimes. Not only are arguments normal but they can actually be a good thing for your relationship if the disagreements are handled effectively and lead to a stronger understanding between you and your partner. However, once you’ve both made your point, explained how you felt, and come to a solution, it’s best to try and diffuse the argument and get back on good terms with your partner rather than drag it out unnecessarily. Here’s how to do it.

Talk about the issues from your own perspective. 

When discussing the problems you and your partner are fighting about, try to speak from your point of view. For example, avoid saying things like “you always” or “you think” and try to say things like “I feel” or “I think.” The conversation will be more productive because it will help your partner to truly understand what’s bothering you and how you’re feeling. Starting your sentences from your own perspective means that you won’t be assuming how your partner feels or what they think, which will only just prolong the fight.

Truly listen. 

Even if you truly believe that you won’t agree with what your partner is going to say, give them the benefit of the doubt and the respect that they deserve and actually listen. It’s okay if you don’t understand or agree with what they’re saying, but it’s not okay to refuse to hear them out.

Try to understand their point of view.

Even if you’re still upset with your partner, try to understand their perspective on the situation even if you don’t agree with it. For example, maybe something your partner did or said hurt your feelings, but you can understand why it happened. Once you understand where your partner is coming from, it’ll be easier for you to move past the fight and forgive.

Hold your partner’s hand or give them a hug. 

A simple bit of loving physical touch can change the entire tone of an argument. It’s almost like you’re extending an olive branch to your partner and signals that you’re ready to make peace with them. A hug or holding a hand during a tense moment can help to destress the situation and is a physical display of affection, showing your partner that the two of you are ultimately on the same team, even if you’re still working through a problem in the present moment.

Remind your partner that you love them. 

A phrase as simple as “I’m angry right now but I love you” can make a huge difference in de-escalating an argument with your partner. Keeping your overall feelings about your partner separate from the way you’re feeling during the argument avoids dragging the disagreement on longer than needed. For example, say that you’re annoyed about the situation, not that your partner is being annoying.

Use a little bit of humor to lighten the mood. 

Of course, there are situations or moments during a disagreement where cracking a joke is disrespectful and can escalate the fight. You also don’t want your partner to think that you don’t care about the problem. However, a little humor can help the two of you relax, calm things down, and put everything into perspective. Sometimes, a good laugh with your significant other is a reminder that in the grand scheme of things, whatever it is you’re fighting about isn’t a big deal.

Don’t let your pride get in the way. 

Keep an open mind when listening to your partner’s point of view. Sometimes, when you take the time to hear them out, you’ll see the situation in a new light and you might realize that you could’ve done something differently or that you were in the wrong. Don’t let your pride keep you from being honest about something like that. It doesn’t really matter who was right or who was wrong, it matters that you and your partner communicate about the problem, deal with it, and then move forward.

Agree to disagree.

Accept that you and your partner might not agree about every little thing. Sometimes you’ll both have different ideas on what’s right and what’s wrong about something that doesn’t have a significant impact on your relationship and that’s okay. There are some arguments where you won’t reach a solution, you’ll just realize that you and your partner both have different opinions on those situations and sometimes accepting that is enough to diffuse the fight.

Let it go.

Once you’ve discussed the issue you and your partner were arguing over and resolved it, move on and avoid bringing it up. Harping on the problem once it’s been dealt with only strains your relationship and keeps the wounds from healing.

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