Arguing can improve relationships

July 17, 2017 Providence Health Team

While constantly fighting with your partner is a bad sign, an argument every now and then can be a good thing. Anyone who has been in a romantic relationship knows that it's impossible to agree on everything all of the time, and most of us try to avoid a confrontation whenever possible. However, a productive disagreement with your partner can be helpful to building a trusting and open relationship. When done correctly, sharing your emotions and addressing concerns with your partner can lead to a less stressful, more balanced relationship. Here are some ways arguments can improve relationships:

Arguments help us open up

There’s nothing worse for a relationship than keeping everything inside. When we harbor negative emotions, we create space for resentment and unhappiness to thrive. Couples who see a long-term future for themselves approach sensitive topics head-on to avoid them turning sour. Telling your partner exactly how you feel about an uncomfortable topic could be the ideal way to prevent an unproductive, hurtful blow up in the future. It may be difficult to say what’s on your mind at first, but the more you practice, the easier it will become, and the better your relationship will be.

They help us understand what’s important

Before you were in a relationship, you only concentrated on things that mattered to you. Being with a partner creates a whole different set of priorities. Arguing correctly can help bring these priorities to light and give you a better understanding of where they sit in the spectrum of your relationship. Airing out your goals, beliefs and concerns with your partner will put you both on the same page and help you approach future challenges as a team.

Arguments give us insight into our partner’s perspective

Healthy arguments allow both partners to address their concerns in a structured, respectful way. In most good relationships, an argument means that each partner is doing the best they can to reach a mutually beneficial resolution. When having a disagreement, it’s important to actively listen to your partner, give them the benefit of the doubt and avoid jumping to any conclusions.

They teach us how to compromise

When it comes to arguing, it’s not about who wins or loses—it’s about reaching a middle ground. A meaningful fight will lead to compromise and set the groundwork for open dialogue in the future. It can also lead you to establish ground rules depending on how you both decide to approach an argument later on. If for some reason, a compromise can’t be reached, it’s best to take the time to think over both of your issues and try to have another discussion after you’ve both cooled down.

Remember, it's perfectly alright to disagree sometimes! No one likes fighting with their partner, but a healthy argument is sometimes needed to maintain an honest, open and caring relationship. It all comes down to how you communicate your feelings in the moment and embracing the virtues of patience, respect and understanding.

Do you have any recommendations on how to best navigate disagreements with your partner or those you love? We'd love to hear from you.

About the Author

The Providence Health Team brings together caregivers from diverse backgrounds to bring you clinically-sound, data-driven advice to help you live your happiest and healthiest selves.

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