We’ve all been there. It’s an argument that started about a problem – even a trifling one – and it elevated into a philosophical debate about who bears responsibility for the problem. Tempers flare – and so do nostrils – and nothing ultimately gets accomplished. And you haven’t even been able to answer the central question: “Whose fault is it?”
The best answer to “whose fault is it” is, of course, “who cares?” After all, the strongest of couples realize that they’re in this “life” thing together, and that no matter what the problems or who started it, what’s important is that you stick together in order to find the right solution.
Of course, that’s all well and good until you get into a heated argument, when logic flies out the window and all that matters is proving yourself right. So here’s how to fix what happens when this argument breaks out.
Nonviolence and Nonresistance: The Answers
It’s possible to be assertive without being aggressive, to state your point without being violent. That’s what civil rights leaders have been doing for years, advocating non-violence.
While it might seem a trivial comparison, you can learn a lot about domestic arguments from these philosophies. Essentially, you’re going to want to stop actively resisting blame and instead focus on being peaceful. An argument stops when both members of the couple want to be at peace; but the beginning of the end is when one of you makes that same decision.
For example, let’s say the dishwasher broke because it was loaded incorrectly. When you hear the question, “Did you load this dishwasher?” you can fight back and say “Yes, but this thing is bad!” or “Yes, but you never showed me how!” You’re resisting the argument here.
Instead, take responsibility for what you did wrong – if the fault truly lies with you. “I’m sorry, that was me. I’ll do better next time.” Then really strive to do better next time. It’s hard to stay mad at the truly repentant.
The key to understanding this whole concept of nonresistance is to know that assertiveness doesn’t mean aggressiveness. When you end an argument with nonresistance, you’re being assertive. Your tone of voice, your body language – it all says “Let’s not argue; this issue is trivial.” Hold this frame of mind and the other person will eventually feel crazy for blowing a small issue out of proportion.
Fixing Real Problems
This doesn’t always work. Sometimes there are real problems that need to be addressed, and you can’t simply avoid an argument. But if there is a real problem that exists, remember that arguing doesn’t solve it. Instead, you should work to fix the real problem.
If you stay calm in every argument situation, you’ll realize just how easy it can be to avoid entanglements with your significant other simply by being strong and leading the way toward domestic peace. And if you ever get stuck, consult many of the good couples at Kupple.com and ask for their advice in finding a good resolution.