Maybe it’s different for you, but when I hear the word “arguing” my stomach churns a bit and I get uncomfortable. Media bombards us with couples fighting on modern reality shows and movies, and it either ends with being just as passionate physically, or forming an unsurpassable gulf between the two. I don’t fully appreciate either ending.
Two very different people coming together in a relationship, to create something even greater, is nothing short of a miracle. It’s also perfectly imperfect. 🙂 We are not only bound to disagree on different things throughout life, but coming to those conflicts can actually be good and healthy. Those conflicts will stay in that healthy range depending on how you and I handle it. (You have no idea how good this post is for me, because if I had my comfortable way, it would be to never argue, confront, discuss, etc. Thankfully I’m learning that arguing is not this bad thing.)
But what is arguing? For the sake of best loves, let’s differentiate between arguing and fighting. Arguing is having a “claim” of some sort, and a reason. This claim could be as simple as, “I think we need to take the trash out before we go out of town.” The accompanying reason could be, “If we don’t, he house will smell horrible when we come back.” Silly, right? But that was an argument! There was no negative connotation, (unless you have some inside grudge about the trash, which in that case you’d be on your own…) no raised voices, no criticizing and really nothing negative. Could we learn something from this? Maybe it isn’t the “what” were’re doing. (Arguing, conflicting, disagreeing) Maybe the success is found in how we’re doing it. Many have written on the subject, and there are a plethora of ways people talk about resolving conflicts, but simple always takes the cake at My Best Love. Here are the simple ways to argue effectively:
- Remember who you’re talking to. They’re your best love. You love them more than anything in this world. They’re you’re #1 fan, and you want them to reach their dreams.
- Listen–twice. My grandpa always says “measure twice and cut once.” Sometimes things just go over our heads, but listening helps us understand what is actually going on before we have an argument that doesn’t have to happen. Extra Note: try listening and then puting what they said in your own words to see if you understood. It makes a world of difference, and all of us want to feel like our best love gets where we’re coming from.
- Be open. Now this can be so hard! But they’re your best love. You’ve shared your hopes and dreams and trials…..and part of it all is learning how to share our thoughts and feelings. I am by no way an authority on the subject, but I feel this piece of a relationship may be the most important to the relationship’s growth. Love is honest. Always kind, but honest and open. Without it, a relationship would stop progressing.
- A friend of mine reminded me recently of something I had learned in a Marriage and Family class. I believe it is the root of learning to argue effectively. It isn’t one person against the other, but rather two people facing, or going against, the problem.
These may seem basic, but my hope is we actually do them. I know I am always needing to work on these things. If you have any others you would add, or any experiences or thoughts about healthy conflict resolution, don’t be afraid to share in the comments below.
As we close, you wouldn’t believe it, but last night we had an earthquake come through–crazy right!? I woke up to my entire bed shaking. That double bed was jumping up and down 10 times a second and trying to throw me off. A few things from my night stand ended up on the floor, and when I finally figured out what was going on, there came another tremor. Some conflicts really do feel like they come out of nowhere, and sometimes it is incredibly hard to understand what is going on, or it feels like there may be no solution. But just like after the tremor were over, there was a calm–a great calm. You don’t forget the rough spots, but they remind us of the things we’ve been through–you and your best love. Sometimes, the fact that you were able to go through the conflict together, makes you stronger than you were when you started. We need not fear conflict as we remember who our best love is to us and to God, if we can stop and truly listen and if we can open up to the one we love.
P. S. Prayer always compliments the process of finding the solution–no matter the struggle we’re facing.