Arguments are bound to arise in all kinds of relationships due to mundane or substantial reasons. In fact, relationship experts suggest that lack or arguments in a relationship could point to a problem such as disconnected partners. However, arguments could just as easily be bad for your relationship as much as they could help resolve issues. This is especially if you do these things during an argument:
Insulting them or their character
A general rule during arguments is to never hit below the belt. This essentially means that you should point out or attack something that they cannot change. For instance, if they are unable to find work, do not be tempted to call them ‘lazy’. You should also aim to be as kind as possible while expressing your stance. For instance if you are angry that they left the cooker messy, tell them that you would appreciate their cooking and would like if they cleaned up afterwards. This works way better than calling them dirty or lazy. A person’s identity is not tied to their mistake.
Additionally, comparing their bedroom skills to a previous lover, even if they are in the wrong, also ranks high when it comes to hitting below the belt.
Threatening to break up
Most people are guilty of bringing up a break up during an argument. It usually comes up as ‘maybe this isn’t working anymore’ or ‘I think it’s better if we break up’ or even ‘I can’t be with someone who does this and that’. Sometimes, it may be the anger talking but it will definitely put doubts in your partner’s mind about whether you want to be with them in the first place.
Threatening to cheat
Related to the above, threatening to cheat on your partner does not do the relationship any good. It simply shows that this is not the first time you have thought about it and given the opportunity you would. This brings up trust issues in the relationship.
Bringing up past mistakes
An argument about expenditure should not suddenly morph into an argument about in-laws or any other thing that is cause for argument in the past. Furthermore, an argument is not the forum to express all the times your partner has ‘disappointed’ you in the past. This is what therapists refer to as ‘kitchensinking’ as ideally you keep adding things into the sink of wrongdoings. Ideally, every issue should be sorted out as soon as possible instead of piling them up to revisit later.
Walking away mid-argument
Nothing shows disregard for your partner as walking away mid-argument. Even if you do not want to talk about it at the moment, let them know. You could say “I know that we are both angry at the moment and we might say things that we don’t mean. I love you and I would not want us to end up hurting each other. Let’s take some time to cool off.”
In the same breath, do not refuse to say anything at all as this sends the message that you don’t care.
Aggressive and avoidant body language
Resorting to violence is a definite no-no. You should never lift your fists to hit your partner or break things in a fit of anger. However, most people hardly pay attention to their body language. Banging your fists on the table, yelling, rolling your eyes as your partner speaks or using your phone add to your partner’s frustration.
Remember, when arguing with a loved one, the goal is never to ‘win’ but to reach a point of understanding.