Young couple sitting on couch after an argument. Sad woman sitting with hand on head after quarrel with boyfriend at home. Angry couple ignoring each other on the sofa, having relationship troubles.

How to Have Less Arguments With Your Partner 

The Nystrom & Associates provider consulted for this article on arguments is Dr. Karin Ryan, PsyD, LP, Clinic Director, Outpatient Therapist. 

Do you ever find yourself talking in circles while arguing, with the need to feel like your point is the right one? Sometimes it feels good to be right. However, that feeling of needing to be right during an argument stems from a deeper, disconnected part of you. It comes from you not feeling cared for or understood.  

Shifting your mindset from the need to “win” the argument to the need to feel loved after arguing is beneficial for not only you but also your relationship. 

Related: What’s Your Communication Style?  

Desire to Feel Right vs Desire to Feel Loved  

While arguing, you might have this strong urge to feel right, to prove to your loved one that your point is better. It feels powerful. It feels good to be right. That desire to feel right, though, comes with its faults.  

This mindset of being right and proving your loved one wrong prevents you from getting what you actually want – wanting to be loved and cared for. Also, prioritizing that feeling of being right turns on your stress response. You can become more argumentative, defensive, and dismissive of your loved one’s feelings.   

The desire to feel right while arguing can feel good, temporarily, but there ends up being more resentment and hurt.

“If somebody is winning then someone is losing.” 

Dr. Karin Ryan

Related: 6 Tips to Build Authentic Connections

How to Feel Loved During an Argument 

Shifting your mindset from that feeling of needing to be right to needing to feel loved can be tough, but it is possible. Here are a few tips to help you make that shift: 

  • Pull-in the logic: check how you are interpreting the situation and remember that others can be interpreting things differently 
  • Stop thinking about who is right/wrong: think about what your role is and what you can do to build that connection with your loved one 
  • Take a break: it is okay to take some time to gather your thoughts. Putting the argument on pause allows you the time to calm down and hear each other. 
  • Use a safe word with your loved one: safe words can signal a need to take a break and calm down before continuing the conversation. 

Related: 4 Step to Assertive Communication

The Power of Vulnerability During an Argument 

Being the first one to vocalize your need during an argument can be vulnerable. You might worry that your partner or loved one won’t understand where you’re coming from and meet you there.  

Vulnerability is important in an argument because it allows you to connect with your loved one on a deeper level and understand each other's needs. When people are willing to be vulnerable, they are more likely to listen to each other and work together to resolve the conflict.  

Both you and your loved one need to be working on being vulnerable to effectively communicate your needs during an argument. Taking the time to understand your loved one and what they need will enable you to shift your mindset from that need to win the argument to feeling understood and loved. Ask your loved one what’s going on. 

“That person might be more vulnerable and that’s where we get to this ‘we’re not trying to be right, we’re trying to connect and figure it out” 

Dr. Karin Ryan

Related: The Benefits of Vulnerability  

A Word from Nystrom & Associates 

If you are struggling to express how you are feeling with your partner, talk with us at 1-844-NYSTROM or request an appointment online. Nystrom has providers that specialize in emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and more.

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