We’ve all done it. There’s been at least one time in your life when you’ve been in the midst of a heated argument and said something so horrendous, so shockingly hateful, that you still shake your head in shame.
I’ve done it more than once.
The truth is we’re only human, which means that sometimes we’re going to say things we don’t really mean or put our foot in our mouth and say something we’ll never be able to take back. Not only are these moments embarrassing, but they’re also really hurtful to the person we’re arguing with, and that person is most often our lover.
Before you go and say something you’ll regret, use these ten tips the next time you and your guy feel a fight coming on. Think before you speak, and save yourself from a lot of heartbreak later.
Listen to your partner
Before you open your mouth and begin a heated debate, stop and really listen to what your man is trying to say. Most of the time, we interrupt our partner before they can finish their complete thought, only to find out that they are right (or at least mostly right). Don’t interrupt…just listen, it’ll help you really see the other person’s point of view.
Don’t argue when you’re intoxicated
If you have something to fight about, wait until you’re sober. I grew up in a family of alcoholics, and I can tell you that there were numerous times things were said that can never be forgotten, even though those words were not really meant. When you’re drunk, you tend to say really stupid things, so it’s best to argue sober, at least then you have a chance of following the rest of these tips.
Think your man is cheating on you? Don’t fight with him until you have proof. Honestly, you don’t have a chance in Hell of winning your argument if you don’t have proof of whatever it is you think he’s been doing wrong. A good debate is supported by factual evidence, not circumstantial.
One way to keep your mouth shut and not say something you’re bound to regret is to chew a piece of gum when you’re in the middle of an argument. That’s right, pop a piece of chewing gum, and it’ll keep your mouth occupied. Instead of yelling back, you’ll find yourself chewing angrily.
This does not work with smoking, if you’re a smoker you still need to use the gum, it’s too easy to speak between drags off a cigarette.
Ask your lover to step away for a moment
Most of us can feel when we’re about to explode, so before you reach that breaking point, ask your lover to step away for a moment. I do this all the time with my son. When I’m in a bad mood, and know I want to scream at someone, I ask him to go to his room and give me a minute to calm down so I don’t take it out on him. It works!
Stay in the present
One of the biggest issues people have when they argue is that they can’t keep the argument in the present. You cannot keep dragging up the past whenever you’re fighting with your lover. Honestly, all it does is throw fuel on the metaphorical fire and push up old problems.
In other words, you will be arguing about something that’s already been argued about, and you’ll feel all of those emotions as well as all the emotions from the current problem. Don’t fight about the past yet again, keep the fight in the present tense.
Take a deep breath
Stop. Before you begin your screaming contest, take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. Close your eyes. Count slowly to five. Force your body and mind to relax just a little before you let the argument go on.
Believe it or not, breathing techniques are used all over the world to control many things from pain to emotion, and anger is one of those emotions where deep, calming breaths actually help.
Have you ever noticed that you tend to say really stupid things when you yell? When you speak softly, you’re less likely to say something you don’t really mean because you’re not feeling as heated or passionate about it. This is also a good anger reducing technique.
Now, before you get the wrong idea, I don’t mean speak in that evil, whispering voice people use right before they commit murder, I mean genuinely speak softly as if you’re trying to hide an argument from a child. Control your voice, and you’ll control your emotions better.
Try to empathize
I know it’s hard, but when your partner is arguing back, try your best to put yourself in his shoes for a moment. Do you really have any idea what his day was like? Do you really understand his feelings and emotions? Okay, sometimes this is a lot harder than it sounds, but there are times when this will really put the argument in perspective and allow you to have a meaningful conversation as opposed to a screaming match.
Sometimes, when all else fails, you’ve just got to walk away. That’s right, instead of pursuing the fight and really saying things you don’t mean, just walk out of the room, or out of the house, and then come back when you’re calm and can speak rationally to your lover. It’s not easy, but it might just save your relationship.
So, next time you’re in for a fight, keep these tips in mind. After all, wouldn’t you rather have an argument you can resolve than say something you’ll always regret?