Though arguments can feel like the end of the world, they're actually both inevitable and, arguably, healthy in relationships. So long as your partner and you both handle the conflict maturely. That's because difficult but constructive conversations can lead to growth and ultimately change for the better.
But how do you communicate effectively with your partner when you're upset or angry? Here are seven ways power couples approach arguments.
1. They practice active listening.
They actually listen mindfully to one another so that they truly hear what the other is saying. They don't just take their partner's words at face value either; rather, they look for bigger meanings and dive into deeper depth with one another. This way, they can address their issues at their core, rather than just having surface-level conversations and sticking a bandaid on whatever it is that's affecting their relationship.
2. They don't point fingers.
They never point fingers at one another. Rather than saying "You did this," they say, "I feel this way." For example, maybe they feel like their partner belittled them. Instead of saying "You belittled me," they might say, "I feel belittled in this situation." In other words, they take ownership of their emotions rather than placing blame on their partner. This way, their partner can listen more empathetically instead of becoming defensive and going tit for tat.
3. They show empathy via body language.
Research suggests that, when partners mirror each other's body language, they establish rapport and empathy with one another. That's because, when one partner uses the other's words, posture and gestures, it can help that partner to truly understand the other, as well make the other partner feel validated. So power couples make sure to not only communicate with words, but also with nonverbal cues.
4. They don't speak or act out of anger.
Power couples seldom speak or act out of anger. Of course, we're all only human and, sometimes, we all say things that we don't mean. But partners in a healthy relationship do their best to think before they speak or act. This rumination time, even if it's only a few moments, helps them to articulate their feelings well and express their concerns in a more digestible way for their partner to better understand.
5. They set aside time to give the conversation their undivided attention.
According to a study from Brigham Young University, when couples argue and say their apologies over text, they're a lot less happy in their relationships than those that make the effort to communicate in person. Power couples, therefore, set aside time to give the necessary conversation their undivided, attention. Of course, the conversation might be a difficult one, but that's why it's that much more important to sit together devoid of distractions.
6. They never go to sleep angry with one another.
Power couples know that it's best to never go to sleep angry. So they try to talk about their issues before the call it a day — never letting anything linger. Of course, some conflicts take time to resolve — and that means that couples can't always "fix" everything before bedtime. But power couples do agree to make more progress the next day, and they go to sleep on a good foot, never forgetting to let each other know how appreciated and loved they still, of course, are.
7. They move on.
Holding grudges does nobody any good. So power couples don't bring up the past; rather, they stay present in the moment and tackle the current issue at hand. They understand that it's best not to bring up incidents for which they've already forgiven. What's in the past is in the past, and they leave it there.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.