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4 Things You Should Not Do When You Argue With Your Partner

What was your reaction when you and your partner got into an argument? How did you feel precisely? Did you yell at him or her? Did you call them different names, complain about related stuff? Or you were just silent and left the room for them? And then what was your reaction when your partner tries to explain things to you so that the heated conversation could be resolved? Did you get defensive or you were ready to listen to them?  Every couple tends to conflict at some point in time, the only thing that differentiates couples is the way they deal with this kind of situation.   In addition, the way that couples tend to resolve their problems or issues can play a very vital role in their relationship. John Gottman published research about what not to do in an argument with your partner, after seeing series of couples arguing and then concluded the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which are as follows:  

Firstly: Criticism.

He buttresses on how criticism can affect relationships; if your partner is not okay with some things in the relationship, it’s okay and even healthy for them to come out plain with their partners and solve things together in the relationship but should not let the complaints lead to criticism. The complaint focuses on what you want to change while criticism is a personal attack towards your partner. If you are attacking your partner about what they’ve not been able to achieve is a form of criticizing them. Learn to complain without blaming your partner, avoid the use of “never and always”.  

Secondly: Defensiveness.

Generally, when someone says that we have done something wrong, the first reaction is always going to focus on what you have really done, if it’s your fault or not, we then start to explain to the other person. Most times, we do this defensively, the defensive instinct can also happen when your partner complains about what you are doing wrongly and you also sparked up and comes up with what they are also doing wrong.  Example: Your partner complains about how you always drop wet towels on the bed and you also defensively come up with what they’ve also been doing the wrong way that you do not like.  Here’s what you should do: you need to be calm and patient, let your partner say what he or she has to say or complain about first. And find a way to tell them you are sorry and amend, instead of attacking them back at the moment or acting defensively. You can see how your arguments will end healthily.  

Thirdly: Contempt.

We all get angry at some point in time. But you should not start feeling hatred towards your partner, if at all that’s the case then there’s need for you to change something about yourself.  Contempt is the sign of separation. Don’t call your partner names, or making them feel worse for being in a relationship With you, if this is the case then you are pretty much-feeling contempt. It’s no big deal to tease your partner or pull their legs but not in a low manner. It can be a sign of hatred towards them.   Here is what you should do: Focus on what you cherish about your partner and totally ignore what you dislike or disregards about him or her. If you still feel hatred for your partner then you should take a moment to think about how your life would have been without them if you didn’t meet this person.  

Lastly: Stonewalling.

Stonewalling is normally about what you should not do, rather than what you should be doing. You have to think about how a rock stone wall would behave like whenever you say how you feel or tell it about your feelings. When someone is completely silent or reply with just a word in a cold manner, they are definitely trying to avoid having a conversation. This likely occurs because of the overwhelming feelings one gets as a result of the other person’s strong negativity. Gottman said “men are the ones that mostly do this stonewalling thing.” Here is what you should do: Instead of acting up a ˜stone cold’ wall with your partner, let them know that you are not ready for the conversation because you are not in a good mood, then come back to them when you are good to have the conversation which your partner was trying to have.

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