Finding yourself in the middle of a full-blown argument is never fun, and there’s always a good chance that it can turn nasty. Before you know it, you’ve forgotten what you’re even fighting about, and what began as a simple disagreement has turned into a total name-calling match”leaving you with even bigger problems than what you started with. Whether you’re arguing with your guy, best friend, boss or even your mom, here’s how to keep your temper in check, and get issues resolved sooner than later.
DO: Stop and Listen
When you’re angry, you don’t always actually hear what the other person is saying. So, instead of focusing on what you’re going to say next, or how mad you are, try to stop and actually listen to what is being said. You can save yourself a lot of time and stress by just letting the other person talk, and hopefully they’ll show you the same respect when it’s your turn.
DO: Stay Calm
Throwing a tantrum isn’t going to make anything better, in fact it’s a pretty surefire way to do the opposite. Anger can make you irrational and drag the argument out longer than necessary. Try to remain calm; this doesn’t mean numb out, but don’t let yourself completely lose it.
DON’T: Involve Other People
Don’t drag your mom into the argument you’re having with your boyfriend. Bringing outside people into the situation only makes things more complicated and awkward for everyone involved. You also don’t want to create long-lasting and unnecessary tension between the important people in your life.
DO: Keep it Clean
Avoid name-calling and verbal insults at all costs. This immature move will only distract from the actual problem and can only lead to some serious hurt feelings, which you will most definitely regret later”and they will never forget all the horrible things you said.
DO: See Their Side
You might not want to, but trying to understand the situation from the other person’s point of view can help a lot. Even acknowledging that you can see why they feel the way they do can move things along and get you that much closer to a resolution. Consider their position and help them see yours.
DO: Stay Focused
Don’t overcomplicate things by bringing other problems up. Don’t bring up the fact that your best friend drunkenly kissed your then-boyfriend five years ago while you’re arguing about something totally unrelated. Keep on-topic and tackle the problem at hand.
DON’T: Give Ultimatums/Threats
Using ultimatums and empty threats to get what you want can only lead to disaster. Not only does this not work, but it can also make you look desperate, illogical and silly. And let’s say your boyfriend takes your fine-then-I’ll-break-up-with-you threat seriously: not only will you not get what you want, you’ll also be stuck with what you really didn’t want.
DO: Take a Time-Out
After a certain point, if you find that things aren’t going anywhere and the two of you are too angry to even think straight, take some space, calm down and regroup when you feel ready. Taking some time away from the problem can also help you to see things clearer, and take a more productive approach when you do continue the argument.
DO: Forgive and Forget
When you have stopped arguing, remember to own up to your own mistakes, forgive and accept the other person for theirs and be grateful when they do the same for you.