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It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in a relationship; you’re still two separate people who occasionally have a difference of opinion – and that can turn into an argument.
Sometimes, those arguments can be pretty serious, and your ability to make up afterwards plays a big part in the health of your relationship.
Here are three simple steps to take that will help you end your next argument easily and help you walk away from it without holding any grudges or hard feelings.
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Step #1 – Have A Pre-Arranged “Green Light” Signal
It can take a while for feelings to calm down after an argument, and it’s best to give each other that time before you try to talk about it. If both of you haven’t cooled off enough, it can just cause another blow out if you try to talk it over.
Give each other enough time to let the sting of the disagreement pass; it may take longer for one than the other, and that’s OK.
A simple phrase like “I’m ready when you are” is all it takes to let your partner know. When both have given the sign, the “green light” is on for calm discussion.
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Step #2 – Make Body Contact
A study in the Psychosomatic Medicine journal in 2005 showed that physical contact – touching each other – can raise the level of the hormone oxytocin in your body, which is known to reduce stress and increase loving feelings.
So even if you’re still feeling a little angry about the disagreement, give a little hug or hold hands. Even just sitting side by side touching on the couch can be enough to help you get rid of any harbored resentment.
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Step #3 – See Things From His Point Of View
Once you’ve both given the green light, it’s important to avoid re-initiating the whole disagreement by repeating your arguments.
Having a make-up conversation only works when you’re ready to bring something new to the discussion, which means you need to try to see it from the other person’s perspective.
It’s not necessary that you give in and say that it was okay for him to head out with the guys after work and not call you. But being willing to at least see it from his point of view can make him less defensive about having done it in the first place.
If you can state that you’re willing to try to understand his point of view, then chances are he’ll be more likely to feel truly apologetic; if he still feels under attack, he’ll only become more defensive and you’re no better off than when you started.
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