Six Steps To Stop An Argument

John Gray

As much as any couple may avoid fighting, the truth is, one minute you may feel great passion, and the next you’re contemplating divorce. Many times, we think arguments occur because our partner’s behavior needs to change. Unfortunately, it’s usually not about them.

Arguing with your wife or husband is not a bad thing as long as you are not berating and hating your each other. Heated discussions can help bring issues to the surface and can encourage both parties to take action towards finding some balance in the relationship.

However, once things get heated and passionate, it can be hard to end an argument before someone gets their feelings hurt.

Here are six steps to stop a fight and get back on the road to lasting romance.

1. Take the edge off—get a little space
The best way to stop an argument is to stop arguing. Sounds easy enough, right?

Men need to cool off and think things through. Women need to make sure that they are not bringing a ‘cold-front’ to the negotiating table.

This is a good time to reflect on how you usually approach your partner. Take a step back and think about how much you love this person. Also, focus on your own needs and take some self-healing time.

2. Ease into it after some downtime
After taking some "me" time, approach each other slowly and softly. Wait until you can feel more positive about your partner and the relationship. It’s very difficult to work things out when negative emotions are still on the surface.

It’s too easy to blow things out of proportion unless you take a step back and ease in to the resolution slowly. If you still feel angry, hurt or frustrated, then it's probably not a good time to jump into conversation to resolve the argument.

3. Nothing too serious
After some time has passed, come back and talk again, but in a loving and respectful way. Take it easy, and keep the conversation light, because even though some time has passed, you still may not be able to be objective right away.

Simple gestures like a smile, holding hands or getting your partner to laugh at something silly and unrelated to the situation can be good icebreakers.

4. Women need to talk
Women often need to completely talk the problem through before they are able to stand aside and put it behind them.

Men can mistakenly feel blamed and attacked when a woman works through her problems by talking, so it’s a good idea for her to reassure him. By letting him know how much he is supporting her by listening, she will free him from feeling unappreciated or attacked as she rehashes the details of the argument and her feelings.

5. Men need to be forgiven
After a big blow-up, men simply need to be told that they are forgiven. The four magic words to support a man in getting over hurt or angry feelings are “it’s not your fault.” 

A man hates to feel criticized, or that his partner disapproves of him. When a woman forgives her partner for his mistakes, she not only frees him to love again but also gives herself permission to forgive her own imperfections.

6. Both parties need to take personal responsibility
Couples can’t point fingers after an argument and expect things to get better. Both men and women have to acknowledge their own shortcomings and take responsibility in order to move on and improve communication.

Men have to let go of being righteous, demanding and overly sensitive, while women have an opportunity to apply new and improved relationship skills to assure him that he is appreciated and that she does not blame him for the fight.

Learning to communicate with each other through stormy times is essential to the success of a long-lasting relationship.

While the best advice I have for couples is to avoid arguments, it's just not realistic. The stresses of ordinary life can get in the way of even the happiest relationships. In the end, forgiveness is the key for both sides.

Watch my video to learn when it is ok to escalate a discussion and when it is better to slow things down for a different time. And let me know if my advice is helpful for your relationship.

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  • Shagufta sana
     4/24/2016 1:07:23 AM
    Sir john...its really good for understanding the nature of male and females..and what to to do in stressful situation ....
  • Tkaye
     12/30/2014 10:57:41 AM
    John...this blog lives in perfect timing. I am in a LDR and have been for about a year. He just moved to Canada in August and his way of dealing with this holiday alone up there is to detach...distance himself. This situation is exaggerated by his company's constantly changing climate and shelving of the project where he is now, requiring him to find another business unit to get into by the end of the first quarter. Before all of this we had plans for me to join him in the Spring and we were both happy about starting this new life together. But now he has to find another expat assignment to take that could be anywhere in the world. I understand the amount of pressure he is under and I understand his distancing to survive. He even told me that he is so afraid to fail me and was so embarrassed to tell me about this latest development at work (in the 6 months he has been there there have been 3 major changes with his work). But In the last two weeks he's been critical and teases me about needing to hear "I love you and miss you" from him. Not everyday do I need to hear it but it is few and far between lately. I say it and he changes the subject. There are NO discussions about our future any longer and I am trying to stay positive but without any connection with him I've fallen into being scared and afraid. Last night I made the mistake of putting these feelings of his criticizing me out there. He blew up and said that I had signed my fate with him and that if I felt he was so "mean" to me that I should find another...granted I most likely didn't say it correctly but I was so taken aback by his intense anger. We ended the conversation with him saying we should sleep on it. I didn't cry or beg him, I stayed calm and explained that I didn't want to find another...only that I needed the connection where he needs the distance to get through all of this. I have listened to any and all of your blogs that pertain
  • BellaGor
     12/22/2014 11:47:19 AM
    Great advice. Would you please direct me to the blog that you are referring to at the end of the presentation (how to make up, not break up). I was not able to find it. thanks
  • White4
     12/11/2014 8:58:27 PM
    John, you hit home on both sides:) Thanks:)
  • GalFromVenus
     12/10/2014 4:07:17 PM
    Hi John! This video was so eye opening for me. I am starting a relationship and sometimes I don't know how to handle my partner. Specially when he goes to his cave I get worried that he's thinking about breaking up with me, that my presence is somehow annoying him… well, everything that you just said. Thanks for having such and invaluable blog like this one, it really helps people to live better lives and to provide better live to their loved ones.

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