Nothing wears out anyone more than a relationship fight. After an all night fight, the next morning just doesn’t quite start out on the best note regardless of the outcome. In “Crucial Conversations,” it describes people having a tendency to move towards silence or violence in an argument when the stakes are high. Sound familiar? I’ve been guilty. Guys have pretty much mastered BOTH silence and violence. It goes a little something like this when she gets mad at me: I’m quiet, hoping the problem just passes over, and of course it never does. I think, “Maybe I just need to be silent a little bit longer, but geez, I’m getting really irritated now.” And then suddenly, my once serene surface erupts like a geyser with all sorts of defensive accusations that get me more in trouble and exponentially grows the fight. Well, the sleepless nights can be over. I’ve discovered 5 quick ways to end a fight with your girlfriend. Gentleman, start your engines:
Be the leader in the situation. You might not be able to control how she is acting, but you can control yourself. I read some great advice from blogger James Russell Lingerfelt: “Never blame your wife [or girlfriend] if you get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you start noticing those feelings erupting inside you, take time to get present, look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed.“ As a leader, you should remain calm, but as a guy we interpret calm as being silent. Don’t be silent, but be thoughtfully honest and never react out of emotion.
Another way us guys are tempted to react is to leave the room or leave the house. I also liked James Russell Lingerfelt’s thoughts: “DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.” I had some friends tell me when they get in a fight, they ask, “What are you needing from me?” Let her know you are going to be present until the issue gets resolved. When my wife Kristen gets upset at me, I have found she just wants to know I’m in for the long haul.
Be aware of your actions…they mean more than your words. You can have an opinion, but don’t be defensive. Allow her to speak her mind without interruption. Show her you care. Not only is it important to be present physically, but also emotionally.
Arguing you’re right is only going to prolong the fight. It’s not about being right. When a conflict arises, set the pride aside. I’m not suggesting you should be a spineless pushover. I am saying that if you are wrong, be man enough to let go of your pride and admit it. I got some great verbage from pickthebrain.com: “You’re absolutely right, it is my fault and here is what I’ll do to fix it” or “I may be wrong, let’s look at the facts together.” Admit and move on.
She can’t argue with how you feel, and in fact, she probably has been waiting to hear you share your feelings. You can start with: “When you do this, it makes me feel like….” I have learned that being open and vulnerable with how I feel is disarming in a conflict with my wife. I notice that Kristen will instantly shift in her defensiveness and start to relax. Women are nurturers by nature and they want to empower us if we will let them <=my wife clearly edited this sentence.
In the end, you control how you will react. When you are calm and speak gently, the person raising their voice will be forced to match your vocal level. Every girl seems to have the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster. It’s good advice for anyone. In fact, I made one for all the bros who need a reminder. Save it.