7 Myths About Arguing & How To Avoid It

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7 Myths About Arguing & How To Avoid It
Myths about Fighting In Relationships (And What to Do about Them)

Fighting = Bad Communication
No matter what you’re fighting about: money, sex, kids or something else, the fighting is an indication that your communication isn’t working. If this happens only occasionally, such as when one or both of you are tired or stressed; it’s not too big a problem. However, if you argue or bicker on a daily or weekly basis, or you keep fighting about the same thing over and over, then your communication is not functioning as it should, and you don’t know how to move from a problem to the solution. When this happens, problems are recurrent, endless, and they can be exaggerated into relationship disasters.

Use these guidelines to make your discussions more productive:

Guidelines for Not Fighting
1. Don’t participate: Disagreements always require two people. If you don't participate, your partner can't argue without you. If the issue arises at an inopportune time, you can just find a temporary resolution (temporarily give in, go home, leave the restaurant) and wait until things calm down to discuss what happened (the squabble may just have been a case of too much alcohol, or being tired and irritable.) Then talk about what you can do instead if it ever happens again.
2. Discuss Recurring Problems: To resolve recurring problems, discuss related decisions with your spouse and find out what each of you does and does not want before making important decisions. You have a lot of options; so don't let confusion add to the stress.
3. Seek to Understand: Make sure you and your partner understand each other’s point of view before beginning to solve the problem. You should be able to put your mate’s position in your own words, and vice versa. This does not mean that you agree with each other, just that you understand each other.
4. Solve it for the Two of You: Come up with a solution that works for just the two of you, ignoring anyone else’s needs. It’s much easier to solve a problem for the two of you than for others, such as children, co-workers, friends and family.. After you are clear with each other, discuss the issues with others who may be involved.
5. Talk to Others: After you’ve solved it for the two of you, if extended family members or friends might have problems with your decision, talk about what objections they might have, so you can diffuse them beforehand. Discuss possible ways to handle their objections.

Squabbles often occur because you’re following automatic habit patterns that lead to a problem before you know it. Using these guidelines will help you overcome negative habit patterns you may have built that lead to arguments or bickering. 

Adapted from Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Squabbling About the Three Things That Can Destroy Your Marriage.

This article was originally published at Tina Tessina. Reprinted with permission.
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Dr. Tina Tessina

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Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
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tina@tinatessina.com
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Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
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