Don’t you already know there is no perfect relationship? All couples get angry and argue, so you’re not alone. But remember, when resolving conflict, keep your words sweet – you may have to eat them. Your arguments may not have as much fallout if you and your partner accumulate positive reserve in your emotional bank account – that is, the more positive interactions and feelings, the less damage.
Agree to stop arguing and postpone a difficult conversation until you’re both feeling less upset. Decide, together, to step away and put distance between you and the situation. Take a break and wait until you both are settled enough to listen to each other.
While you’re unwinding, think more constructively – for example, his anger isn’t all about me; we really do love each other; she’s under a lot of pressure at work; this too shall pass; I’m upset now but I know we’re right for each other.
Throw yourself into an activity that gives you immediate release and stay there for a while – call a friend and let off steam, take a long run in the park, put on earphones and listen to music that stirs your soul.
Distraction can be powerful, no matter what form it takes. Be playful and try humor or turn the controversy into a debate. Using adaptive defenses can lead to deeper and more meaningful conversations.
Practicing these strategies can make a difference in the outcome of your disagreements. As Russian writer Leo Tolstoy said, “What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility.”
Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner? In honor of Effective Communication Month, you can pick up tools to help you communicate better with your customers, clients and prospects – even your spouse! Although you do have to opt-in to get the free gifts of your choice, check out this giveaway to see if it works for you.
And remember to log on tomorrow for our Virtual Book Tour with Dr. Jed Diamond and his new book, “Mr. Mean.” Come prepared with questions about the problems in your relationship – you’ll receive smart and practical solutions from Jed.