Let’s face it; it’s hard it is to stay cool, calm and composed in the middle of a heated argument. When you’re arguing with your significant other, things tend to escalate quickly, feelings get hurt easily and you may end up walking away feeling worse than before. While it’s hard to keep a level head when all you want to do is scream, it’s important to take a look at how you are addressing problems before you lose the argument – or worse, your relationship.
This week College Lifestyles (TM) sat down with Lindsey Macias, a Georgia State University alumna who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Lindsey has a fantastic understanding of both children and adults and is often sought out for her advice when dealing with people and relationship problems. Thanks to her insight, Lindsey helped CL compile the top dos and don’ts for a healthy argument.
Do talk it out.
“You can often avoid an argument all together by calmly explaining why you’re upset and listening to why he’s upset. Talking it out avoids any miscommunication that can arise in the heat of the moment,” Lindsey said. You may be upset, but he may not understand why and vice versa. Talking it out will stop any unnecessary arguments from unfolding.
Do actively listen.
“One of the more important things to do when you’re trying to have a healthy argument is to actively listen; not just hearing them, but actually listening to them and responding to what they are saying. You can do this by nodding your head, keeping eye contact with them even if they aren’t and keeping your body open.” - Lindsey Macias
When you’re talking it out, it’s important to relax and hear them out.
Do make suggestions.
Lindsey suggests saying something like, “I’ll pick up the food, if you decide on the movie tonight.” For some people, being told what to do doesn’t make them feel like your equal, which results in them resisting and getting upset. Instead, suggest or ask for help instead.
“A couple of years ago my boyfriend and I were supposed to go to a Thrashers game with a bunch of sorority sisters for a date night. I told him about it in advance and he told me he couldn’t go. That same night he told me he was going to the game with a couple of friends, and of course I became upset.” - Lindsey Macias
Instead of staying upset, Lindsey and her boyfriend were able to talk about it and come up with a solution. Now, they communicate more and document upcoming events on a calendar they share so that nothing gets overlooked.
Do choose your battles.
“Keep in mind that an argument should never be a yelling fest full of “Well you should’ve done this,” and “You did this wrong.” Listen to what the other person has to say, and then choose your battle.” - Lindsey Macias
Are you really upset by this? If so, stay poised and talk about what you both could’ve done to help the situation. You’ll be able to find a solution that works and you’ll each walk away feeling better.