How to keep arguments healthy

A couple having an argument

Every couple argues.

While it’s probably not your favorite way to spend an afternoon, knowing how to keep your arguments healthy will go a long way in protecting your relationships as well as your mental well-being.

How do you know if your arguments are healthy?

Pay attention to the way you feel after an argument. Did it feel like a positive experience, leading to a good compromise? Or did you feel exhausted, attacked, or disrespected?

To help make your future disputes positive, we made a quick list of dos and don’ts. This is a two-way street. For a relationship to thrive, both partners need to be respectful in arguments.

Avoid these unhealthy arguing tactics:

Don’t yell. Stick to your indoor voice, or better yet, you can give whispering a try.

Don’t call names. No good can come from name-calling, only hurt feelings.  

Don’t play the blame game. Instead of fighting over who is at fault, work together to find a solution.

Don’t punish your partner. Whether it’s the silent treatment, withholding affection, or threatening the relationship, punishment is never the solution.

Don’t get physical. This includes everything from pushing to punching walls. If your argument gets physical in any way, leave and find a safe space ASAP. Consider confiding in your support network, telling your therapist, or filing a police report. We’re also here to help 24/7 at 425-746-1940 or 800-827-8840.

These tips will put you on the peaceful path:

Do take a break. If you feel things getting heated, take some time for yourself and revisit the conversation later with a clear mind.

Do listen. It’s important to get your point across, but it’s just as important to listen to your partner. That way you can find a solution that works for everyone.

Do compromise. Compromise is a healthier goal than winning an argument. Most of the time, there will be a solution that involves meeting in the middle.

Do maintain your boundaries. You can and should protect your boundaries. You have a right to feel angry, say no, be treated respectfully, and end the relationship if your needs are not met.

Do pay attention to how often you argue. If you find that you and your partner argue often, you may consider counseling to get to the bottom of the issue.

Remember: it is normal and healthy to disagree with your partner from time to time.

With respect and open communication, you can find a compromise that works for both of you.