What NOT To Do When You and Your Partner Disagree
And while some arguments get to the point and everyone moves on, others seem to perpetually linger on for what seems like forever.
After working with a lot of couples on their communication issues, I’ve noticed one thing that keeps these arguments going: the need to convince.
And I don’t mean convincing your partner to consider an alternate point of view. I’m talking about convincing your partner to abandon their point of view completely and to adopt the one you believe is best suited.
The need to do so stems from feeling you’re right and your partner is wrong.
In your head, it’s like, “Their point of view is ridiculous. It’s only a matter of time before I can show them why they’re wrong and why I’m right. Then they’ll think more like me. And then we’ll have less conflict."
What’s wild is that it never really works. Especially in the heat of the moment. You go into convincing mode and your partner shuts down or gets defensive. And that’s why those arguments never end.
There’s a great quote I came across recently that summed up the dilemma well. It read,
"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.” - Albert Einstein**
[**It was attributed to Albert Einstein, but so are all the other quotes on the net, so who knows who really said it.]
The Goal Isn't To Prove Them Wrong, It's To Understanding Their Point Of View
Anyhow, if you want peace in your relationship, the way to do so isn’t by proving your partner wrong or converting them to your way of thinking. It’s by finding mutual understanding and common ground.
Why? Because you’re partner is an individual with their own thoughts, opinions and values, so convincing them otherwise shows a lack of respect for that individuality and just results in them pushing back or growing resentful.
A part of being civil in your arguments means that you accept the fact that you and your partner won’t always see eye-to-eye on certain topics. That’s okay. The best you can do is to express yourselves, seek understanding and move on.
If you find it difficult to respect your partner’s points of view, that might mean there are deeper issues with misaligned values that need to be explored. But that’s a topic for another day.
You’re both entitled to your own thoughts and opinions. You shouldn’t have to adopt each other's for the relationship to work. So find ways to bridge the gap without forcing each other to convert to your way of thinking and your communication will improve exponentially.
So what are your thoughts? Have you ever found yourselves stuck in an argument trying to convert each other’s point of view to your own? How did you handle it? Leave a comment and let me know.