Do you and your partner seem to always be in conflict? Do small disagreements turn into colossal blow-out fights? Or, do you both always seem to be on each other’s last nerve? Whichever way you fight, it’s in the best interest for your relationship if you learn how to fight smarter. Learning how to resolve conflict positively can help you have a positive, healthy relationship that grows stronger with each passing day. Keep reading below to learn how Couples Counseling of Costa Mesa suggests you handle your next fight.
Understand why you’re in a lousy mood and communicate it
Maybe your significant other is getting on your last nerve, and you’re this close to making it very, very clear. Before you snap, take a look inside and understand why you’re feeling annoyed. Did you have a hard day at work and need some sympathy? Are you stressed out and need some time alone? Or are you just really, really hungry? Saying something like “You know I love you but I’m feeling very stressed and on edge right now and would like a little time alone” is a much more effective way to communicate your feelings than telling your partner to “go away.” The former breeds understanding and compassion while the latter breeds sadness and anger. The next time you’re about to lash out, take a deep breath, understand what’s making you feel the way you feel and try to communicate it properly.
Don’t say things you don’t mean
The most effective way to fight smarter is never to let anger get the best of you. Saying things that you don’t mean in the heat of the moment can be severely detrimental to your relationship. Everyone has the ability to say mean or cutting things when they’re angry. Even if mean words make you feel like you’ve “won” in the heat of the moment, the damage you’ve done to your relationship may be long term. Before you say something mean or potentially damaging, think about how you would feel if someone said those same things to you. If it would hurt your feelings, assume it will also hurt your partners.
End a fight like a good business meeting
Don’t you hate when you’re in a business meeting that just goes in circles for an hour and at the end, there’s no clear direction forward? Fighting with no clear path to a resolution feels the same way. When you and your partner do fight, try to come to a conclusion regarding next steps. If you’re mad at your partner for not cleaning up after themselves, don’t just complain and yell at each other, work together to develop a weekly cleaning list to ensure that duties are shared equally. Working towards resolutions will ensure that problems are being taken care instead of festering and getting worse.
If these tips aren’t helping and you and your significant other need some additional help learning how to fight smarter, contact Couples Counseling of Costa Mesa today. We’re here to teach you the tools to grow your relationship stronger every day.
Patrice Hooke, LMFT uses practical honest feedback and focus on the strengths of my clients to help them reach their goals. I believe that with honesty, compassion and understanding, we can all find healing and have a more fulfilling life. She is especially passionate about couples counseling Costa Mesa.