There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. They all go through a rough patch—moments of undesirable misunderstanding, at-the-top-of-your-lung kind of screaming, and seemingly endless bickering. It may sound emotionally exhausting, but it is an inevitable part of every relationship.
Learning how to diffuse arguments may be the best way to lessen the emotional impact that these conflicts can have on us. Because let us be honest here. Arguments are just too much to handle sometimes, and we want to avoid them entirely, but we can’t because it would only damage the relationship even more.
Is it normal for couples to have arguments?
Arguments occur from time to time. Remember that you are two different people inside the relationship, and misunderstandings and conflicts are unavoidable. Most of the time, they occur due to a desire for change, whether in your or your partner’s behavior or entire relationship.
However, always bear in mind that conflicts and arguments are not about who wins and loses. It is all about coming up with a solution. Because, at the end of it, agreeing with a common resolution might make you and your partner feel better, and your relationship would also become stronger.
And so, the goal in every argument is not to attack and to bring each other down or hurt the other person through destructive words. Doing so would only intensify the heat of the argument. The best way is to use positive and encouraging words to cultivate a healthier way of dealing with an argument.
15 phrases that will diffuse arguments with your partner
When there is a misunderstanding with your partner, it is easy to become angry and frustrated, and it is often far easier to shout and insinuate our points. However, not only will it aggravate the situation, but it will also exhaust you later on. If you want to face the conflict without having such negative experiences, here are some phrases you may want to try:
1. “Tell me what you’re feeling right now”
Learning how to diffuse an argument is tricky. Sometimes, when in the middle of a heated argument, we tend to ignore each other’s feelings and focus on our own. But, the secret to diffusing an argument lies in these words: “How are you feeling?”
Again, this is not about learning how to shut someone down in an argument. This is about being there for each other despite your current conflict. When you ask your partner how they feel, it shows that the care and concern are still there and that each other’s emotional well-being is way more important than the issue at hand.
2. “Yes, I heard you, and I’m sorry if you feel that way”
Arguments often escalate because of the feeling of being unheard in a relationship. But, when you say things like, “I heard you,” you are giving the impression that you are acknowledging their emotions and their needs. It doesn’t matter whether your opinion differs from theirs or not, as long as there is no feeling of rejection or being judged for their sentiments.
Watch this video to understand how apology can be powerful.
3. “Did I do something wrong that made you feel that way?”
Often, we are not consciously aware of what we did wrong, and not trying to acknowledge our faults may lead to even more conflict.
However, asking if there was something you did that made them feel bad or hurt is like telling them, “I’m willing to change or take responsibility for what I did.” And, sometimes, just knowing that you are willing to take action is enough to diffuse any argument.
4. “Can we take a few moments to calm down?”
Learning how to disengage from an argument is sometimes necessary, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed or furious, to solve the problem without trying to win over a heated argument.
However, if you are to disengage, ensure that you are only doing it for the time being and that you will come back to discuss the issue once you are done recomposing yourself. And if you plan to do so, make sure to tell your partner. Please don’t leave them hanging and think that you are avoiding the problem.
5. “It was your perspective, and I am in no position to say that it was wrong”
One of the best things to say when you’re arguing with someone is to acknowledge that you both have different perspectives. It shows that you are validating their own experiences without making them feel judged or rejected.
6. “Can we try to come up with a resolution?”
The best line to end an argument is this one. It gives the impression that even though you both have different opinions, you are still willing to compromise and come up with a mutual decision to fix the issue.
7. “Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?”
Another idea of what to say to end an argument is this phrase right here. Arguments can be extremely taxing, both physically and emotionally, and if you want to end it the right way, ask them if there is something you can do to make them feel better. It could be comfort food or a cuddle.
Learning how to diffuse arguments is not always easy. It sometimes takes courage because you must also learn to put your ego aside. And so, if they open up about the things you did that made them feel hurt, validate their feelings, and make sure to apologize, whether you did it intentionally or not.
Taking responsibility and owning up to your mistakes will disallow an argument from spiraling out of control.
How to not engage in an argument, especially a heated one, is often tough if you feel like your partner is not listening to you. In this case, try asking your partner if they would at least make an effort to hear your perspective so you can work out your differences.
10. “This doesn’t make me feel good”
Arguments can be overwhelming, and so trying to find big words to use in an argument to express your emotions can be quite tricky. When this happens, straight up tell your partner that fighting doesn’t make you feel good and that you feel overwhelmed. It may give way to a calmer approach to the conflict.
11. “Help me understand what you are trying to say”
If you want to know how to disarm an argumentative partner, try asking for their help instead of continually arguing with them.
Often, arguments escalate because of the frustration of not being understood. Hence, if you show that you are making an effort to understand their sentiments, it means you care. Then, perhaps, the anger might dissipate.
12. “What exactly do you need from me?”
It is extremely hard to find safe words for arguments not to escalate, but asking what exactly they need from you would give way to two crucial things: first, it gives them the impression that it is safe to voice their needs, and second, it clearly states that you are willing to compromise.
13. “Can we try again and be more objective this time?”
Learning how to diffuse arguments sometimes involves asking, “How to avoid an argument?” It may sound like a bad thing to do in a relationship, but how you use it will later determine its effect.
If the conflict is being motivated solely by emotions, then it is best to avoid arguments until both parties have cooled off and are ready to be more objective. Doing so will help both parties find a resolution or a compromise on the discussed issue.
Avoiding an argument will only benefit your relationship if you return to it once you are both calm and ready to discuss it properly without having to fight.
But, if you avoid the problem entirely and act as if nothing ever happened, then it would be highly damaging to your relationship.
14. “We were both wrong at some point”
Again, it is inevitable that you and your partner view your experiences differently. Hence, it is also inevitable that you don’t see each other as free from any fault.
The key, though, is to acknowledge that you both had shortcomings and made some mistakes somewhere along the way. It’s not always about pointing out their faults and saving yourself from whatever mistake you make. It’s not about winning because it is not even a competition in the first place.
It is always about, “I made a mistake, you made a mistake. We both did. But, what is important is that we are trying to solve this problem together.”
Relationships are about being united and not being divided when things get tough. Always remember that.
15. “Hey, it’s okay”
Arguments sometimes start with the fears, doubts, and insecurities that we have within ourselves. Even voicing them out loud can also make us feel scared.
Because of this, arguing sometimes feels like the best way to express all these negative emotions we hold in our chest. And so, if you feel like your actions and behavior are being driven by intense emotions, it is important that you take a step back and recompose yourself.
Ultimately, if we are being reassured that our internal problems are normal and our emotions are being validated, even a simple “it’s okay” can make a huge difference.
Conflicts, arguments, and misunderstandings are all important parts of every relationship. Sure, they don’t make us feel good, but how you get out of these circumstances is what will determine the course of your relationship.
Now and then, you will have to argue with your partner because maybe, a change needs to be made for you to grow stronger together. But, it doesn’t always have to be an intense fight where one needs to win or assert dominance. Remember, there is always a way to approach it peacefully. That is by learning how to diffuse arguments.
Nevertheless, there are also times when you have to learn how to avoid arguments first to diffuse the situation. But take note that you can only avoid it for some time. Refusing to face the conflict head-on will only cause damage to your emotional well-being and overall relationship.
Lastly, it is always safe to remember that while arguments are normal, they are only healthy if you end up with a compromise without sacrificing your emotional well-being. If this is no longer the case, perhaps it’s time that you give counseling a try.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.