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Three ways to turn a fight around

Three ways to turn a fight around

Arguments with your partner, family and even friends can sometimes end in tears, sometimes they end in door slamming. But if you're sick of the drama or the stress there are some simple techniques to use to turn things around. 

You want to hide away

After a heated discussion have you found yourself saying: "That's it. I've had enough!" and you retreat to your bedroom, garden or shed?

Possible outcomes:
This approach might seem fitting at the time, but in actual fact you're sending the message: "I'm right and you're wrong". This strategy could quite possibly lead to resentment. Or perhaps the other party (partner or family member) will learn to ignore your technique. This will only lead to the other person withdrawing to the other end of the house.

Alternative approach:
Try to recognise the decision point - that moment when you find yourself thinking, "I'm out of here," but part of you knows, if you calm down and talk through things you will be able to solve or at least settle the issue. We all have the ability to stop ourselves from retreating and rather staying around to communicate what's really going on. Try being honest about what you're feeling. If you are really upset or angry for whatever reason, try communicating that you're angry and letting the other person know that you need a walk to think and that you'll work things out after a short walk.

You're shouting but no one is listening

Does it feel like you're saying the same thing over and over again? Perhaps you end up shouting, just trying to be heard.

Possible outcomes:
Have you ever had someone shout at you, listing everything you're doing wrong? It's not the sort of approach that welcomes any sort of discussion or constructive self-reflection. It makes you want to withdraw or fire back. 

Alternative approach:
Instead of playing the blame game, just talk and get to the heart of the matter. Instead of saying you don't do this and you don't do that, look at the situation and figure out other possible sources of your anger. For instance, you might be a little bit lonely or not have enough things to occupy your days.

And if you feel that your partner/family member/friend isn't listening to you, it's likely that you're not listening to them either. Our partnesr/family members are often a reflection of us. So if you want to be listened to, you might need to be the one who starts listening first.

"Everything's fine"

Instead of opening up a controversial topic, do you ever pretend everything's fine, while when in actual fact you're really struggling underneath?

Possible outcomes:
People might take you literally if you go to every effort to convince them that it's "all good". Underneath it you're probably secretly wishing someone would drag the truth out of you. But you act so strong, you don't give them the chance to find out what's going on. Then you might resent them for not understanding you.

Alternative approach:
As much as we would like people to me mind readers, this does not happen! Instead of expecting people to decode your behaviour and thoughts, see what happens when you let your guard down and communicate.