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8 Ways To Handle An Argument
by Jennifer Good

Let's face it, no one is perfect. No matter how hard you try, or how loving and respectful of a couple you are, you are bound to get into a disagreement once in a while. With a few tips though, it doesn't have to be something that can harm your relationship. The next time you feel an argument starting to form keep in mind these 8 ways to handle an argument!

1. Give your partner enough space to voice his or her concerns.
I'm sure you hate it when people interrupt you; give your partner the same respect -- even if you don't agree with what they are saying.

2. Make an extra effort to really understand what you partner is trying to say.
It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking you know what they are saying, when in fact you may not have a clue. If your partner feels like you understand what they are saying, you'll find a way to end the argument far more quickly.

3. Don't say something you'll regret later.
Always consider your relationship like a glass. It is sturdy, tough, beautiful and clear when taken care of, but if it is mistreated or mishandled it can end up scratched, cracked or even broken. Take care in choosing the words you say when you are in the heat of the moment.

4. Don't bring in past woes.
The past is the past... let it stay there. If you dwell on past occurrences, you'll never find a solution for the future your partner will feel less loved and respected, and you will always feel negatively towards your partner. People make mistakes. Give your partner the chance to recover from them, and encourage and support them when they make the right choices.

5. Learn to compromise.
If you can learn to compromise, you'll find yourself in fewer disagreements. If you don't like something, then agree with your partner to find some middle ground. This also applies the other way. Be willing to come up with alternative solutions for things your partner doesn't like as well!

6. Realize that no matter what you say, you both may not agree on the issue at hand.
An argument is typically started because you want someone to agree with you about something. You think that the other person must not know all the facts, so you begin to explain it to them. The more your partner still disagrees with you, the more upset you usually get. But, if you realize that sometimes it is best to just let yourselves agree to disagree -- you'll show your partner that you not only respect their opinion, but respect their individuality as well. You never know, maybe later on they (or even you!) might change their mind.

7. Make a commitment to talk about the situation until it is handled.
It's far too easy to run off and avoid your partner, or give them the silent treatment. Instead, make a commitment right now to each other to respect each other enough to work it out -- even if it takes all night. Nothing is unsolvable when you are working together to truly find a peaceful resolution.

8. Make your relationship with your partner your first concern when you are in the middle of a disagreement.
This does not mean bend over backwards for them or compromise your integrity. Just keep in mind that the person you are arguing with is your best friend, lover and soul mate. If you both keep that at the forefront of your mind in an argument, it will keep what matters most away from cruel words or intent -- your heart!

Finally, I leave you with one thought on preventing arguments. Let your partner know exactly when something upsets you. I've found that many people tend to not speak up when something bothers them, thinking that it is trivial to mention it. Unfortunately, what happens is after repeated times of not speaking up, some small occurrence happens and it ends up being the straw that broke the camel's back. The other partner, more often than not, has no clue what they are upset about and therefore thinks they are over-reacting. If you find yourself in this situation, deal with each thing as it happens. Don't let things build up until you explode.

Assignment: Get a journal. Every time you see something you don't agree with or don't like, write down everything about the incident or situation. Include when, where, exactly how you feel, etcetera. Then write down at least three solutions to the problem. If you find a way for you to fix the situation on your own, do it. When you need your partner's help, find a time to sit and talk about it with them. By writing in your journal, you'll have released many of the emotional feelings surrounding the situation or incident. This will allow you to have a calm discussion with your partner.

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