Anyone trying to attain a disagreement free relationship is looking for a Utopian ideal they'll never find. No matter how
hard your efforts, you're going to disagree about something your partner says or does at least a few times. The attention
you give to avoiding arguments would be more wisely spent learning how to make the most of a disagreement.
Many people compare life to a game that we play. If life is a game, then arguing is one tactic of playing that game. Since
you know at some point you're going to be involved in a disagreement with your partner, it makes sense for you both to learn
the rules of this particular area of the game. Let's face it; no one truly enjoys being upset. If you're arguing you can't
be loving. These argument guidelines were created to help you discover what the disagreement is really about, handle the problem
and get back to loving each other.
Listed below are guidelines you should both agree to follow. Consider them your rules of engagement.
1. Don't talk if you're too emotional about the situation.
Things you say in the heat of the moment
have a way of leaving a damaging mark on your relationship. Instead of lashing out while you're still emotional, go out and
take a 10 to 20 minute walk. Getting away from the situation will help you cool off and gain a much-needed new perspective.
2. Leave the past where it belongs...in the past.
It is a natural tendency to want to compare current
situations to other situations that may have occurred in the past. It gives us our sense of security and pattern in life.
Unfortunately, no one wants to continually be reminded of their past wrong-doings. By bringing up everything you don't like
about them or what they've done, it can emotionally push your partner away from you. Who wants to be around, or open up to,
someone who only makes them feel bad about themselves? Keep your disagreements about the problem you are actually dealing
with at this time.
3. Take turns relaying your viewpoints.
Let one person say what is bothering them first. Then, let
the other person rebuttal or give their viewpoint. Continue until you both feel like the other person has understood what
you're saying. Remember though, just because your partner may not agree with you does not mean they didn't hear or understand
what you're saying. The goal of a disagreement is not to bend the other person to your thoughts or side of the story. It is
to come to an agreement, mutually, that benefits all people involved.
4. Try to really understand your partner's viewpoint.
It is so easy to get caught up in how we have
felt wronged, that many times we forget to truly take a look at the other person's viewpoint on the situation. Really put
yourself in their shoes, and see how you would have acted differently in the same situation. More often that not, you'll find
after an honest look, you would have done the same thing.
5. Find a solution to the problem together.
Once you've both identified that there is a problem,
and what the exact problem is, you need to come to a solution that benefits each other. To do this, each person should be
responsible for coming up with a solution they feel will end the problem. Share your ideas and agree to a compromise, if needed,
to the situation