How to quarrel the right way

During quarrels, we sometimes say terrible hurtful things to people we love. And trivial conflicts turn into a desperate crisis. In order to prevent this from happening, it is important to remember that your goal is to find a solution, not to hurt each other.

A conflict is a clash between two sides. Each has its own opinion, emotions and needs. And until these two sides bring their reactions to a common denominator that will suit everyone, the conflict will not end.

Therefore, the task of the conflicting parties is to find this common denominator as soon as possible, to direct their resources to finding a solution, not to the quarrel itself. Then you will have a better chance to reconcile before you do something irreparable.

Use “I-Messages”

A “self-message” is a statement in which a person describes their own feelings, feelings, thoughts, expectations and actions. At the same time, without blaming another person for their reactions.

You can react in different ways to a conflict situation: accuse the partner of all mortal sins or confess what emotions this situation causes you. In the first case, it will be an attack (albeit unconscious), in the second you will show openness to dialogue and sincerity. 

Example: You do not like it when your partner raises his voice at you. Instead of telling him “Don’t yell at me,” use “I-message”: “I feel very unpleasant when people yell at me. So you show that you will not accept a scream, not reproach the other.

With the help of self-expression, you can speak openly about your feelings and take responsibility for them. In this way you move from the victim’s position to the adult’s position, from which it is easier to solve the conflict. 

It is important to include it in your statement:

  • Subjective description of the situation – how it looks from your side;
  • The emotions and feelings that it evokes;
  • An assumption as to why such emotions have occurred;
  • The desired course of events – in order to help correct the situation, how could both sides behave.

Example: the partner has not done what he promised. You can blame him: “You never keep your word and do not keep your promises, you can’t be relied on! Or you can say about yourself: “I feel unwanted when my requests and desires are ignored. I was hoping that you would do what we agreed to do. In this way, the partner will have the opportunity to explain himself and correct the situation.

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