Arguing with your partner is never fun. As justified and warranted as you may feel, when the dust settles and you’re left with your own thoughts, you feel bad.
Regardless, I know what you’re thinking. The LAST thing you want to do when you’ve been feeling neglected, wounded or disrespected by your partner is to bow down and show signs of weakness. After all, you’re only doing what any human being would do when hurt by someone they love; your protective shield goes up and you vow to defend your wounded self.
Unfortunately, this approach often doesn’t work. Most people believe that in a conflict discussion, the main objective is to persuade their partner to see that they are right. It’s as if they say, “If I just explain myself one more time, they’re bound to see my side and follow suit.” This perspective only creates more grief and conflict.
Most relationship disagreements stem from issues that are deep-rooted and touch at the core of one’s own personal belief system, morals and values. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone willing to give up his or her ingrained principles to adopt your own. These fundamental characteristics are what make us who we are.
So how can we get our point across in order to repair and heal from arguments that leave us feeling guarded and emotionally disconnected from our loved ones? By humbling ourselves and accepting a little bit of influence.
There’s an old Japanese martial arts form called Aikido, which teaches that in order to have a harmonious spirit and win, you must be able to yield to your opponent. In relationships, power and strength comes in the ability to humble yourself and accept some influence for part of the problem at hand. You get more of what you want out of your relationship by being able to see your partner’s perspective and yield to some of their understanding. This doesn’t mean giving up your own set of beliefs, but it does mean allowing yourself to see that there are others to be had.
Showing humility creates a more effective way to tackle recurring relationship problems with no resolution. Instead of having the same argument over and over, finding ways to genuinely express understanding and agreement for your partner’s point of view allows your partner to do the same. The conversation then is able to take on a different meaning where resolution is possible.
The next time you find yourself in a conflict with your partner, remember that your perspectives are equally right and justifiable. You are both in the same place trying to defend it. Instead, seek understanding of your partner’s stance and express humility so that your relationship can move past perpetual arguments and into more universal acceptance. Only then, can your relationship thrive.
Arguing couple photo available from Shutterstock