10 Best practices to defuse arguments in relationships

We fear arguments. The words we use, the stress on the mind & body, and the after-effects of the argument, all become too much to handle. It feels like a dark cloud looming over us, waiting to shower and drench us in a pool of misunderstandings and sadness. That’s just how it feels when we have arguments in relationships. This person, who you are in a relationship with, is important to you. Why else would you even bother to argue?

What I’m trying to establish here is, “THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH AN ARGUMENT.” It is only a symbol that you care enough to voice your opinion/perspective in context. Arguments in relationships are, in fact, healthy. It is during these moments that you understand each other on a greater level because they reveal to you a new version of their lives. If you already know something bothers the person, and you are in a mature relationship, would you keep doing it? No.

That said, it doesn’t change the reality that such arguments in relationships do upset us for the time being, and we drag the mood along until the matter is resolved. Oftentimes, we also say hurtful, mean things in a fit of anger, and words are something you cannot take back. So, if you can handle things maturely, there’s the better option of DISCUSSING whatever it is than ARGUING about it.

You might think, “That’s never possible! She always… he never…” This could go on. The she’s and he’s in our lives do bother us at times. After mindful introspection, you’ll observe that neither of you was wrong. It was only a matter of difference of opinion and nothing beyond. And if you truly love the person, then you’ll accept this opinion of theirs as a part of their amazing personality that you fell in love with in the first place.

So, yes, it is possible to discuss matters and defuse the several arguments in relationships before it takes a darker turn of emotional exhaustion. You can defuse them before they catch wildfire and you needed an entire brigade to put it off. It is all in the power of your mind to handle this. All you need to do is inculcate some of the best practices to control the situation at that moment. If you’re willing to invest in something so valuable, your only investment being willingness and time, read ahead.

“Let the angry word be answered only with a kiss”- Thomas Hill

Best Practices to Defuse Arguments in Relationships 

Is life as a couple a “laboratory” for the practice of ethics? - e-ostadelahi.com

1. Keep a check on the tone of your voice

The moment you start screaming, the entire scenario takes a whole different turn. Sometimes, it is not only the things you say but also the way you say them. When the tone of the voice is in check, you’ll also be able to control the things that you say. And I know that this isn’t something that you are used to controlling in the heat of the moment. So, here’s something you can do as a couple.

Set a code word that both of you can use when either of you raises their voice or uses a bad tone. The other has to be accepting of it, and immediately control it. And if this is something you’re trying to achieve alone, then you can defuse the arguments in relationships by observing other signs in your body when you’re angry, and immediately control it.

It may feel easier than it sounds but the more you start practicing it, the process will become easier.

2. Ask questions and respond

The problem with arguments in relationships is that both partners want to prove a point and feel right. There’s an overlapping of both’s opinions and there’s no one to decide who’s right or wrong. A better way to handle such a situation is-

When you feel that the matters are heating up, hold hands, sit down across each other, and ask questions about the situation. “Why do you feel this way? What if I tell you that this isn’t how I feel? Why don’t I tell you my opinion too, and then we come to a mutual agreement?”

There’s so much that you achieve together when you ask questions, wait for your partner to respond, and then feel the difference.

3. Practice Deep Breathing

arguments in relationship

Your partner is one person you feel close to the most. So, they’re not going to judge you if you practice something that’s going to benefit the both of you in the end. Whenever there arises a situation of arguments in relationships, there’s something you can do to calm down instantly.

Deep breathe. You’re about to say something that you know you’re going to regret. Take a step back and deep breathe. You will find your mind and body come to sudden rest. You’ll then automatically want to sit down and talk it out than letting things go as far as an argument.

It will take some time to develop this practice to defuse arguments in relationships, but it’s worth a try. In fact, get your partner on board too, and you’ll take up the challenge together.

4. Pause to listen

Pausing to listen is something that requires your active and mindful attention. Active listening is a very big part of communication. It’s couples where there’s only talking that there’s a problem. But when you practice the pause, which I’ve suggested before to solve several other relationship issues besides just arguments in relationships, it acts powerfully.

After saying something, pause. See what your partner has to say. Wait for them to finish than cutting them off between their sentences, and then respond. You’ll find that the aura around you feel so much more relaxed because you are effectively communicating as opposed to arguing.

5. Take a break

Be conscious even when caught up in arguments in relationships. When you feel like matters are getting out of hand, and even your partner is totally lost in the argument, you need to take an appropriate option. It does not take time for a simple argument to turn into a long-lasting fight that will trouble both of your mental health.

During such a moment, tell your partner, “Let’s come back to this discussion later. We’re not coming to a solution right now anyways. Rather than fighting, let’s take some space.” And then, take a walk, listen to some music, watch some television, read a boook. Do whatever it is that gives both of you peace. You can do it alone, or together, but preferably by yourself.

6. Don’t walk away

arguments in a relationship

From all the things that we should be doing, this is something that you absolutely shouldn’t do during arguments in relationships. Walking away is one of the worst ways to deal with an argument. A better way to handle this is-

Express. Say you don’t feel like talking about this issue at the moment. Can we come back to this after a while? But simply walking away when the other person is talking is very insulting and offensive. When you wish to walk away, kindly ask for time, but DO NOT walk away without saying anything. 

7. Choose silence over your anger

Is it necessary to always say something? If there’s anything more powerful than words, it is silence. Sometimes, it is best that one of you chooses silence to deal with the arguments in relationships. With one of you silent, it will not be an argument anymore.

If you haven’t heard this before, “Speech is silver. Silence is golden.” Always go for what is more valuable. In this context, silence. There are some topics that simply aren’t worth responding to. You can just let them say what they want, and respectfully say, “Okay.” When their mood is calmer, you can go back to discussion it saying, “So, I was thinking about what you said, and what if…”

8. Meditate Often

arguments in relationship

Meditation is a generic practice you can inculcate to feel calmer. Overall, you will feel a lot more in control of your emotions, and you’ll feel less angry. What more does one need to keep arguments in relationships to the least.

Meditating often will help you handle moments of arguments with a lot more grace. You’ll smile more and you’ll have more control and balance over the things you want to say. If this is something that the both of you can practice together, then that works better since both of you will be on the same page.

9. Use the right phrases

As I said in the beginning, saying the wrong things could lead to drastic effects when it comes to arguments in relationships. But saying the right thing, just what would help your partner calm down at that moment could be a game-changer.

Say things like, “I totally understand what you’re saying,” “let me think about that,” or “Maybe that’s one way to look at it.” By using such phrases, you are letting your partner know that you are very much a part of the discussion, but they don’t entirely mean that you agree with them.

Phrases like these will also charge your partner up with some positivity to deal with the situation. They will react more calmly, and realize they should be kind and calm enough to listen to your perspective too. Rather than dismissing what your partner is saying, saying these will be more helpful.

10. Express, and then agree to disagree

arguments in relationship

Communication is a wholesome process. It is not just about talking. It is about speaking, expressing, listening, responding, and so much more. When there are arguments in relationships, it is because there’s been a difference of opinion. Typically, that is exactly why fights break out.

Express what you feel about that conversation only. No blame games. No past history. Focus on what you want to say and not how he or she made you feel.

And after having done everything, you’re still feeling like the matter hasn’t been resolved, agree to disagree. It’s okay if both of you don’t agree on the same things all the time. There could be exceptional situations, and you can say, “It’s alright. We’re both right” That’s it, let it go that moment and hug it out. Arguments in relationships are a way to know each other better, and you could let it go as a learning experience.

Remember, physical touch also plays an extremely important role in defusing arguments in relationships. And that’s not the same as physical abuse. I mean, hold hands. Hug things out. Keep your hands on each other’s shoulders when talking. But if you feel like your partner is too angry, then you could completely avoid touch.

Also, ensure to keep your facial expressions in check. Sometimes, even when you don’t mean something, you could come across as a lot meaner. These are all some extra attempts to defuse the arguments in relationships.

Nonetheless, don’t pressure yourself. Sometimes, little banters are forgotten over time, unless the matter keeps interfering in your lives repeatedly. Don’t stress yourselves about these practices because they’re pretty basic. Although, it will much more helpful if both of you are on the same page to get habituated to these practices. If only a person continues to invest efforts into resolving these arguments in relationships even before they begin, it would become exhausting to continue.

If you missed out on my last article where I talk about the signs of commitment issues and tips to deal with them, read it here.

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Hemali Adhiya is the co-founder and author of the e-magazine Love Smitten. Alongside writing and editing for several other websites, she hosts a YouTube Channel- Total Angrezi. Traveling is her way to unwind, and she loves recording these experiences!

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