It’s natural to argue in relationships, but many times, a fight can easily be prevented with a little empathy. Next time your partner does something that bothers you, try arguing from their point of view before bringing your argument to the table.
Photo by Makia Minich
This is something I’ve learned to do in my own relationship. When I’m stressed, I am very easily annoyed by things my partner does or doesn’t do. Not helping enough with chores is a common annoyance, especially because I love things being neat and clean, especially when I’m stressed. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to blow up about it, without caring at all about his side. It often turns into a really stupid fight.
When I’m feeling annoyed, I try to argue his side of it first, before bringing anything up. Maybe he actually does do quite a few chores. Maybe it’s just not enough for me right now, because I have a lot on my plate and I’m feeling overwhelmed. A lot of the time, I realise he’s got a point (even before he had the chance to make it). It makes me a lot more empathetic and it’s an easy way to avoid a fight. In this example, instead of approaching the situation with, you don’t do enough around here, I’d probably approach it with, I’m overwhelmed at work, would you mind helping a little more around the house today?
Of course, this is mostly useful for those minor tiffs that are inevitable when you live with someone and deal with their quirks on a daily basis. Sometimes there are deeper issues in relationships that should be addressed better than this. And you certainly want to be careful not to make excuses if a partner is being abusive in some way.
But for those heat-of-the-moment, getting-on-my-nerves type of arguments, I’ve found that this little trick helps put your grievance in check.