When do things get difficult in relationships? Things get difficult when we argue and when we disagree. Some of us might think, as did I, that if we meet the right one, there will be no disagreements, or that if there are, I will always be understood and accepted. Is this an unrealistic expectation of a partnership? Not really, but it needs to be mutual and we need to know that arguments in relationships are unavoidable, however, if we learn a few basic rules then we can learn how to argue in a more effective way that does not leave the relationship in peril, nor does it leave us feeling emotionally deprived, beaten or belittled.
Disagreements are normal in any relationship, the question is how do we disagree? How do we argue? Are we mean to each other, do we listen to each other then respond rather than react? Most of us have learned to react, instead of listening carefully, and trying to really hear what the other is saying without making it mean the opposite in our minds. Usually what happens is that we give wrong meanings to what the other is saying. We make it mean something that it doesn’t. This happens when one is usually insecure, when his negative mind chatter gets the best of him. This has nothing to do with the other person, but everything to do with the perception of ourselves. We give ourselves our worth, not another.
Lets dive into these concepts. I believe there are many gaps in our communication amongst us and that we have still to learn how to communicate effectively be it business, friendship or romance. Often people come from their ego which always leads to negative results. Why is this? This is because our ego always needs to be right. Where the ego is present there can be no cooperation, no mutuality. The ego doesn’t believe in mutuality, it only says: “me, me, me, me.” There can be no growth of a relationship where one is only thinking of himself. There is power in numbers. No man is an island. People were not meant to be alone and isolated. Therefore, it stands that whether in business or romance we need to learn how to really pay attention, be attentive, listen and collaborate with each other if there is to be any progress, growth, understanding and bonding within our relationships.
So, how do you argue? I’ve learnt through teachings that there is no need for ugliness or offensiveness during arguments. I can comfortably and respectfully disagree with the other person without it meaning that everything has collapsed due to the argument. In the past my arguments with almost everyone around me where extremely volatile, with a lot of screaming usually going on by both parties. Today, I can listen with empathy to the other, without taking what they say personally. There are a few factors that are important if we want to succeed in arguing fairly without it damaging the core of the relationship and ourselves.
Firstly, take nothing personally. Another persons opinion of you is none of your business.
Secondly, get rid of your ego. There is no room for ego in relationships. People tend to think that the more they come from the ego the more they are protecting themselves, but nothing could be farther from the truth. The opposite is actually true. Ego is
always coming from a place of fear and lack. A secure person is full and has nothing to prove.
Thirdly, if one is secure in their being, then nothing the other person says will affect them negatively. This means, that when you’ve worked on yourself and you know your worth, you will not need to seek another’s validation.
Fourthly, know who you’re dealing with. There are toxic people out there. Are you with one of them? Are you painting red flags green? Are you feeling uneasy and pretending things are fine, or that you will be able to “fix” them? This is a tricky one. If you are with an abusive person, there is only one solution and that is get out!
Fifthly, if your arguments are slowly chipping away from the joy in your relationship then its really not worth the emotional cost.
Lastly, the emotional cost of being in an unhappy relationship is a great one. The pain one goes through is simply not worth it. Relationships are meant to bring and add joy to our lives not take away from it.
Simply, yet not easily done, arguing is unavoidable, but if done with respect, active listening and putting the other first, any disagreement can be effectively resolved, provided you are dealing with an emotionally healthy human being. That says a lot!