I started reading Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus and guess what? I went straight to read this particular chapter, How to Avoid Arguments. This is a recommended book for a couple to have a healthier communication and relationship and believe me or not, this is my very first time doing something like this. However, reading this book alone is not going to help. You ought to encourage your partner to do the same too.
Below are some of the excerpts I learnt from that chapter which I categorise as what actually cause arguments between two people who love each other deeply.
It takes two to argue, but it only takes one to stop an argument – to nip it in the bud; you deal with a problem when it is still small before it can grow into something serious.
The secret to avoiding arguments is loving and respectful communication.
Quite commonly when a man feels challenged, his attention becomes focused on being right and he forgets to be loving. His ability to communicate in a caring, respectful and reassuring tone decreases. He is not aware of how uncaring he sounds and how hurtful this is to his partner. He unknowingly hurts his partner by speaking in an uncaring manner and then goes on to explain why she should not be upset. He mistakenly assumes she is not accepting the content of his point of view, when really what upsets her is his unloving delivery. When a man neglects to honour a woman’s hurt feelings, he invalidates them and increases her hurt.
Unlike a man, when a woman feels challenged, the tone of her speech automatically becomes increasingly mistrusting and rejecting. This kind of rejection is more hurtful to a man.
It is not what we say that hurts but how we say it and therefore, to avoid arguing, we need to remember that our partner objects not to what we are saying but to how we are saying it.
Most arguments escalate when a man begins to invalidate a woman’s feelings or point of view. Men do not realise how much they invalidate.
Women unknowingly start arguments by not being direct when they share their feelings. Instead of directly expressing her dislike or disappointment, a woman asks theoretical questions and unknowingly communicates a message of disapproval.
One critical pair of problems from which arguments arise is either the man feels that the woman disapproves of his point of view or the woman disapproves of the way the man is talking to her.
Take responsibility for recognising when a disagreement is turning into an argument. Stop talking and take a time-out. Reflect on how you are approaching your partner. Try to understand how you are not giving them what they need. Then, after some time has passed, come back and talk again but in a loving and respectful way. Time-outs allow us to cool off, heal our wounds, and center ourselves before trying to communicate again.