Conflict – Productive Arguing

Five steps on productive arguing


Arguing is a normal part of any relationship and can make your relationship stronger.

Relationship psychotherapist Paula Hall offers five tips for having a more productive argument.

Step 1: Work out what you’re really arguing about

Be self-aware. Are you really arguing about the washing up, or is there a deeper issue under the surface? If so, stop arguing about the washing up and have the discussion.

Step 2: Confront the issue, not each other

Many couples start arguing about an issue but end up arguing about who’s fault it is. Keep the initial issue at the forefront of your mind, and don’t resort to blaming each other.

Step 3: Always stick to the matter in hand

Don’t bring up the past, other issues, or other peoples’ opinions. Argue about one thing at a time.

Step 4: Be adult

You might find that you sound like a strict parent or rebellious child when you argue. Imagine having the same conversation with your boss and think about how you would respond. Bring that “adult” self into the conflict with your partner.

Step 5: Check yourself

Be aware of how you’re feeling. If you’re tired, stressed, ill or irritable, give your partner some warning so that they can give you space.

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