How To Stop Arguing?

The first step to stopping your arguments is to understand why you have them. Because what we feel is so automatic and feels so real, the understanding of what’s really happening with you both takes time to digest, however…

…once you understand what is really going on, you will hear what people say in a whole new light, that also puts you back in control of you and your emotions.

Arguments erupt out of situations where we feel that something is wrong, and so out of frustration we aggressively communicate to our partners our perspective on how we feel about what they have said or done, or not said and done.

  • The question is this: Is how we feel about what our partners have said or done actually true or are we out of control and living in reaction out of fear?

The second step is to understand that it is our translation of a situation that we created that helps us to feel good or bad.

Any situation has potentially hundreds of meanings. If we choose to focus on the worst meaning, or the meaning which suggests that our partners intentions were to hurt us, or they are not trust worthy, then you’ll have a fight on your hands. Because they will aggressively defend their position.

Arguments go round in circles

Couples arguments can go round in circle with this. This is because what started the argument gets lost into a fight over what was actually said. This is a fight over actual words and intent verses translated meanings and distorted intent.

So in short if we are feeling bad about something our partner has said and done, or not said and done then our assumptions of those situations have created the meanings which limit the possibility of hundreds of other meanings.

This would suggest a mind reading ability and you are so in tune with them that you understand the intention behind everything they say and do.

Some of the possible meanings will be bad and some of the meanings will be good. So in the context of creating meanings, facts no longer exist and so whatever you think is true has more chances of being wrong.

Understanding the intention behind your partners words is your key to stopping your arguments.

So the next time your partner does something which you instantly think is wrong STOP AND THINK! Was their intention to hurt me? If you still think is was then find out for sure never assume.

Remember it’s you that translates their words into a meaning, and so its the meanings you have created that  equals they cannot be trusted. Obviously if you believe your partner can’t be trusted on some level you are going to feel bad inside. But be crystal clear that it is you that created that meaning and the emotions that then followed.

Why Assumptions Can Harm Relationships

Many couples argue about what the other person meant when they said something.

This process starts when one person listens to their partners words, and converts those words into their own meanings, and then repeats back their translation, making their partner responsible for that translation and the new meaning behind it.

Of course the person doing the translating is making a massive assumption, that they understand the intention behind their partners words.

  • There is no way any of us can truly understand what is in someone’s mind when they speak to us, so making any assumption to the real meaning is unfair on both you, and your partner.

We need assumptions in day-to-day life

The problem is we live every day making assumptions about everything, we do it because it is a short cut to getting through our day. Imagine having to know the exact meaning behind everything anyone says to us, we would never get anything done.

Assumptions in relationships tend to create conflict

However where your partner is concerned making an assumption is a dangerous game, because we are socially conditioned to think the worst first.

So what happens is, if we are confused by what our partners say, we translate it into something that makes sense to us and then we tell our partners what they meant. This creates fury in those being blamed for saying something they didn’t and an argument erupts.

If you are the victim of this situation, what is most upsetting is the automatic assumption that our partner has assumed we would do something to hurt them on purpose.

This is because it shakes the core foundations of our relationships, “trust, respect, integrity, honesty etc…” Plus we feel judged and made to feel wrong. This now creates a two way street of resentment in the relationship in that moment.

  • Resentment is a pathway to a break-up and so we can feel insecure and uncomfortable about the relationship.

Men and women communicate in very different ways

The big reason why getting clear on your partner meanings is so critical is because men and women also communicate very differently. Men tend to be very direct in their communication and women can be indirect.

So if a man is listening to a woman his chances of understanding her true meaning if he takes her words literally are very slim, especially if she is upset and she is testing him, because she feels unsafe on some level.

Of course the woman will do the same, for example if the man is quiet she will assume something is wrong. That because when women go quiet generally there is something wrong. But for men they are happy when they are quiet.

These are of course generalisation and potentially assumptions as not all men are from mars and not all women are from venus, so the message here is clear...

…Know you can never possibility know what you partner means, so you can never make them wrong in the moment. Discover their meanings behind their words or actions by asking. When they tell you what they meant, accept what they say because they understand their meanings far more than you do.

If you are going to make an assumption, always assume your partner loves you, even when it seems like they don’t.

  • If you would like more information on the sexes and the differences in communication or you are having communication issues in your relationship contact me today.

Should I Stay With Him?

Thank you for all your questions from – ASK Stephen Your Burning Relationship Question

The question for Stephen…



Hi Stephen,

Thanks so much for all the tips its really working for me in my relationship. But I have a question, I am in a relationship that is entering the 8th month, but my man hasn’t said anything that is committing. He has two kids and I have one, he says he wants to be careful before committing himself into any relationship. We talk everyday and I’ve visited him twice in Europe we haven’t done anything intimate(sex). Please, do you think this is a relationship I should hold on to because I really do not know what he is up too and living in deception is the last thing I want to get myself in right now. Awaiting your response.

Thanks so much Stephen.

Olu

Stephen’s Relationship Advice

Dear Olu

Great to hear from you and thank you for your question, I’m so pleased to be able to share my thoughts with you today.

Long distance relationships are tough and so I really do sympathise with you, because even in geographically close relationships, fears and insecurities can creep in grab us and get out of control.

So lets look at what has happened and what it could mean…

He says he wants to be careful because he has two children, I’m sure you can agreed this is a good thing that he values the security of his children. Of course you could see this as a stalling tactic, but unless you have proof, why assume the worst as you‘ll only feel bad and probably for no reason.

You have spent time with him in Europe and not yet become intimate, again this is great because it’s a stronger indication that he respects your wishes and is looking for a lasting relationship and not a fling.

Plus you talk every day, so he is showing you a solid commitment to wanting to communicate and find out more about you, this is all great news. Clearly he wants to find out more about you, because he enjoys your company. No man would phone every day if he didn’t.

So far everything looks great… Except for how you feel.

There are two clear issues

  • 1. You have created a trust issue and attached it to this relationship, ask yourself why, and do you have real proof he is being deceptive? Feelings and assumptions do not count as proof.
  • 2. The other issue is about the speed in which this relationship is moving at.

My question to you is this. What commitment are you after from him, and does he know specifically what you want? In other words have you told him what your relationship goal is. I.E. marriage, living together, in which country if it were to happen…etc…etc…?

You are not asking him to give you that commitment today, or even in the next 6 months all you want to know is if a relationship was right for him does he want the same future as you, whatever that is?

What this creates is two specific points, where you are today, and where you both want to be, which hopefully is the same place. If not then you need to talk.

If you both have the same goal for the future, but just need to get to know each other better then this is great.

How to accelerate the commitment

What you now need to focus on is to helping him feel great about himself and attach those great feelings to you. Help him to know that he is significant in your life because when you are with him and think about him  you feel secure and happy. When he feels responsible for your happiness the chances of him feeling great are really high.

The quicker he starts to create a future that is better with you in it, the faster he will want to commit.

Be open with him about the intimate side of the relationship, be sure he knows you are looking forward to it, so he understands there is not a hidden reason why you don’t want him this way. Be sure he knows that you also just want to be careful and sure about him like he does with you.

What you both then need to focus on is building a bridge each day towards what you really want. When this happens then you will see the steps of growth happening on both sides. When you see this you’ll feel more secure with him that you are a team / couple.

Avoid creating fears based on assumptions

Be careful of your own fears Olu, because they can and will worry him. If he senses that he is not making you happy he will feel he has failed and this does not build a great future in his mind and may help him feel he will never be enough for you.

Should you stay in this relationship? Unless you can‘t bear long distance relationships, I don‘t think you have enough information to decide at this stage, which is why you feel stuck.

You need to understand the direction you are heading and if you share the same one, it’s really that simple. After all it is eight months and you would like to know, be sure he knows you are not after a commitment today just a shared direction to put your mind at ease!

If your questions scare him away then there is your answer, somehow I don’t think that will happen here.

Please let us know how you get on Olu…

If you have a question, or would like to share your thoughts for Olu please leave your comments below.

If you have a burning relationship question ask Stephen Hedger now… Click Here

Quick Relationship Tips – Assumptions Equals Break Up!

One of the biggest reason couples split up is because they assume they know the meanings behind what their partner does or says.

I hear many couples telling each other what they meant and then they argue about it.

These assumptions can build up stacking more and more untruths on top of each other.

These untruths build up a negative set of beliefs and before long the victim of this bad press gets blamed for all the wrongs they have done.

Confused they defend themselves and this only make the situation worse.

Never assume your partner has a negative intention in anything they say or do because most of the time you will be wrong.

If you are unsure or confused then ask them what they meant.