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In relationships, there may come a time when you get involved in a heated argument. Although you may not like to fight, it’s not realistic to say you’ll never disagree and get into a brief argument. The key is to fight fair. Respect each other, hear each other out, and then try to come to a compromise you can both live with. If this isn’t possible and your fights have gotten more frequent with the intensity escalating, it may be a sign that it’s time to end the relationship. Here are some behaviors you should not engage in during an argument.
There’s a difference between raising your voice and full-on screaming. Try to avoid the latter. Screaming at your partner will not get your message across. You will just make him or her defensive and afraid of you. A relationship should not be built on fear, but respect, love, and trust. Your primary goal should be to protect and love each other. If you find yourself screaming, you have stepped over a line, and you need to take a step back and think about what you are doing.
Physical abuse is never OK. If you feel that you have to hit your partner in order to make a point, you need to get help right away. You would benefit from anger management classes as well as therapy. Also remember that abusive behavior could land you in jail. So keep your hands to yourself.
As the saying goes, “When you point a finger, you’ve got three more pointing back at you.” Don’t blame someone else for your own shortcomings and insecurities. Take a look at yourself before you try to blame someone else. Swallow your pride and just admit when you’re wrong if that is the case.
4. Bringing up past hurts
Bringing up arguments and missteps from days, months, or even years ago is not fair. You have to learn to let some things go and move on. When you bring up a past indiscretion, this shows that you are not capable of releasing a grudge and that you have not truly forgiven your partner. Avoid throwing your partner’s flaws back in his or her face.
Calling each other names is not only abusive, but it’s also intensely hurtful. By putting labels on the one you say you love, you are devaluing them in order to elevate yourself. If you don’t feel good about yourself, don’t take it out on your partner. Take the necessary steps to build your self-esteem. Just because you are miserable doesn’t mean you have the right to make someone else just as miserable as you are.
6. Using the silent treatment
The silent treatment is one of the oldest — and one of the most hurtful — tricks in the book. Don’t do this. By going silent, you’ve communicated that your feelings are more important and that it’s up to your partner to come groveling back to you in hopes of forgiveness. This is not a healthy way of relating. Instead of getting silent and shutting your partner out, let him or her know that you need a moment to be alone and to think about what was said. Simply not responding to questions or getting up and leaving is disrespectful. Who would want to talk to you after that?
If your partner employs some or all of these tactics, he or she may not be mature enough to handle a serious relationship. Know you are valuable and should not tolerate abuse from your significant other. If things don’t improve after you’ve sought help, it’s time to move on.