Resolving an argument isn’t about winning, or proving the other person wrong. The goal should always be to alleviate tension, and stop fighting.
Allowing a recurring argument to continue, without reaching an acceptable resolution, can be destructive to your long term relationship. The issue will begin to take other forms as tension, anger, and frustration grows.
Here’s what you can do to resolve an argument that just won’t go away.
Rationalize Your Emotions
Take some time to truly understand why the issue is so important to you. Be brutally honest, because the real reasons aren’t always what you expect.
Control, power, insecurity, embarrassment — these are all ugly, and incredibly intense emotions linked to most ongoing arguments.
Rationalize the emotions attached to your point of view. Spending time analyzing your own thoughts and emotions will make the conversation to resolve the argument less intense.
Next, you’ll want to empathize with the opposite point of view with whoever you’re arguing with. Don’t focus on WHAT they want. Focus on WHY it’s important to them.
Again, analyze and think about the emotions attached to their point of view. On the surface, people will do and say things that just don’t make sense. It’s because their words and actions are being driven by emotions, and not by logic.
We’re all incredibly complex, and most people aren’t going to directly tell you they refuse to abandon the argument because it makes them feel insecure and less important. Ongoing arguments are the result of very deep, raw emotions.
You may not 100% understand their point of view, but if you don’t honestly try you’ll never move past the issue.
Related: 10 things that causes divorce
Focus On The Issue
Ongoing arguments can become like a virus to any relationship. All the anger and frustration gets transferred from one core issue to other less important issues. This results in constant fighting that isn’t important to either of you.
Have you ever had a three day argument over a trash can lid? What about a shouting match over a coffee cup?
When you don’t solve the most important issue in your relationship, you seek other ways to vent your anger. So you end up arguing over a trash can.
Identify the small annoyances, and separate all those from the big problems.
When it’s time to discuss your core issue, focus on those issues. Don’t lump every issue together into one massive ball of frustration. Trying to solve one problem is hard enough.
It’s not unusual to look forward to conflict and yelling, because you may want to vent your frustration. Don’t begin a discussion about the issue when you’re angry. Try to remain calm, and express your thoughts in a constructive and polite manner.
If you get angry and verbally abusive, expect the same in return. If you remain calm and constructive they will also follow suit, and do the same.
Go into the conversation with the goal of resolution and understanding each other better. It isn’t about being right, and winning.
Ask yourself how important it is to win. Are you really willing to sacrifice your relationship because someone needs to win, and someone needs to lose?
See Also: 7 signs of a failing relationship
Let It Be Over
Most successful resolutions don’t end with one person relenting, and the other person getting what they want. When this happens, the anger doesn’t go away. It grows and festers, and leads to long term resentment.
A true resolution is when you understand and accept all the emotions involved from both parties, and you agree to move forward the best way possible.
You may not get exactly what you want, but you’ll both have a stronger relationship with a better understanding of how to make each other happy.
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