If you have ever experienced an argument that lasted all day or all night, you know how stressful it can become. At a certain point, people just keep fighting because they arenâ€™t sure how to stop. There is nothing left to say that is productive in any way. Arguments that go on for too long often wind up spanning many subjects and become childish. Next time you are in an argument that has gotten off track, try a few of these simple tips.
Tip #1: Do Something Nice. No matter how small it is, do something friendly. Bring your â€œopponentâ€ a glass of water. Offer to make coffee. It doesnâ€™t matter what it is but just do something to remind both of you that you arenâ€™t really enemies. Sometimes that is all that it takes to cool things down.
Tip #2: Measure the Fight. Ask yourself if the argument is really worth your time. Is this an issue that you will even remember next week? Will you care about it next month? If it really isnâ€™t a big deal, donâ€™t make it into a big deal.
Tip #3: Agree to Disagree. If you can live with it, just live with it. Some issues will really remain unsettled forever. If itâ€™s not that big of a deal, just forget about it. If you spend hours arguing about dishes, just start washing them and make your partner start cleaning the shower instead.
Tip #4: Take a Break. If you arenâ€™t really ready to apologize or forget about it, just agree to take a break. Spend 15 minutes apart without speaking. That might be all that you need to get a fresh perspective on the matter. If you still want to hash it out, wait at least 15 minutes later, then go for it.
Tip #5: Say That Youâ€™re Sorry. Even if you arenâ€™t really feeling sorry, sometimes it is better to just apologize. Try to stop thinking of it as a competition. Winning or losing should not be that big of a deal. If you were having a bad day and the argument got out of hand, just apologize for overreacting. You can still be upset, just fess up to the bad mood and talk about the real issue later.
Tip #6: Make Trade Offs. Compromise sounds like a dirty word to some people but it shouldnâ€™t! If you want something, start negotiating. Keep it simple and forget about who owes what. If you want your partner to come to your great auntâ€™s dreaded birthday party, offer to serve breakfast in bed the next morning. Keep your deals simple and straightforward. But donâ€™t take too long to pay up or it could lead to another argument.
Tip #7: Keep It Clean. Arguments can quickly take a downward spiral if you get off-topic and start making childish comments. Agree to a set of argument rules and stick to them. Donâ€™t name-call or make accusations about something your partner â€œalwaysâ€ or â€œneverâ€ does. If one of you stops playing by the rules, call a time-out. Agree that you can only argue about one thing at a time and that a time-out must always be respected.