I hate fighting with you

Things To Say To A Partner Over Text To End A Fight

Updated: Jan 14, 2021, 17:11 IST

Yashi Marwaha


Relationships can often tire you out. 

Some days you find yourself fighting over the same thing that you have been trying to solve for the past three years and on some days even the biggest issue is solved in a day with just a basic discussion. 

We just have to learn to let go of fights and ensure that our egos and self-respect remain intact. 

If you’re just tired of all these arguments and don’t know how to end the most recent one with your spouse/boyfriend/fiancé, we are here to help. You can copy-paste these lines into a text message and send it to them, or just repeat these lines to them.

Image Credit: Giphy

What to say after an argument with your Partner

Here is the list of some best things to say your partner over text to end the fight.

1. I agree with what you said but I needed to say my side too

This works best with men. They feel they weren’t heard in the fight and just letting them know that you agree with them is enough to help settle things.

2. First things first, I love you. And second, I hate fighting with you.

Anybody who fights with you after you tell them that you hate arguing with them is not worthy of you.

Image Credit: Giphy

3. It is a pattern, we just keep throwing things into the argument. I want to stop doing that with you.

This will make him feel that both of you brought a lot of different things into the fight which wasn’t what you started with and it will give him perspective. To top that, you tell him that you want to create a healthier pattern with him which will make him feel secure and loved.

4. I shouldn’t have lost my temper last night. I can sit down and do this with you now if you want.

This will make your partner keep his temper in check too. Period.

Image Credit: WiffleGif

5. That fight was silly and if you really think about it, quite unnecessary as well. Let’s get over it?

The only answer you will get is, ‘Sure, babe.’

6. If I had a guide for what to say to my boyfriend after an argument, I would choose the best line from it. But I only have a sorry for now. So ... sorry?

This is sure to melt a man’s heart. 

Image Credit: Tenor

7. I shouldn’t have taken things this far and I would like to begin this discussion with an apology. Now we can healthily argue again if you want.

This is either just to end the argument or take it towards a lighter, less aggressive route. 

8. It was all a build-up. My work was shitty, my family was being difficult and I shouldn’t have used you as my punching bag.

If he loves you, he will understand that life can get a little hard at times and you end up venting your anger where you are not meant to.  

Image Credit: Giphy

9. Last night scared me. My parents never argued and it was all so new for me and I didn’t know how to process it. Can we please work through it?

Nobody wants to know that their argument style scared the other person. So he will surely take a step back and think about it once. 

10. My friends told me that arguments are natural in relationships, all good days will bore us out. But I told them I’ll only agree if you said it.

Being cute doesn’t always work. But if you know your fighting pattern then throw this in at a time when you think he will take it well and not add fuel to the fire.

Image Credit: Gfycat

Yashi Marwaha

Relationships & Love

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What to Do After a Fight with Your Partner, According to Experts

It's totally normal — and even healthy — for couples to argue. After all, you're two separate people which means you're going to have different opinions sometimes. You might already know of some go-to techniques for how to fight "fair," like using statements starting with "I" and avoiding any and all name-calling. But these methods only go so far and oftentimes it can be murky waters when determining what to do after a fight with your partner.

What you might not realize is that how you act after a fight can be just as important to the current state of your relationship as what you say in the heat of the moment. That said, here are 12 responses to avoid after an argument, whether you're totally over it or still working on that whole forgive-and-forget thing.

    1.Don't disrespect your partner's need for space.

    "In a fight, when one partner is overwhelmed, they may not be able to process their thoughts," Dr. Megan Flemming, clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist, tells Woman's Day. "Which is why it's important to respect when someone says 'I need a break.'" It can be natural to feel anxious if your partner needs some time to cool off and collect their thoughts — if this happens, take a few deep breaths and think about how'd you want to be treated if the roles were reversed. "Understand that it's not personal," says Dr. Flemming.

    2. Don't have an all-or-nothing mentality.

    After a heated argument with your partner, try to keep an open mind. In the midst of a fight, it can be easy to slip into black-or-white thinking. Dr. Flemming says using terms like "you always" or "you never" won't solve an argument, so it's important to take a step back once things have cooled off to consider your partner's point of view.

    3. Don't give them the cold shoulder.

    If you need some space after a fight, that's completely fine, as long as you tell them. "One of the biggest mistakes people make after an argument is stonewalling," Rachel A. Sussman, a licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert in New York City, tells Woman's Day. If you brush your partner off or ignore them, they may think you're punishing them, which might make them hold back on telling you how they feel in the future. Instead, say, "My emotions don't recede as quickly as yours, but give me 24 hours and I'm sure things will be fine. If not, we can discuss more."

    If you need some space after a fight, that’s completely fine, as long as you tell them.

    Gary John Norman//Getty Images

    4. Don't keep their words in your arsenal.

    You know the saying, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?" Whatever your partner says during a fight should stay there. "List-makers never tell their partners what bothers them in the moment," Michelle Golland, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, tells Woman's Day. So if they say something during the fight that bugs you, tell them their words are frustrating you. If their fighting words annoy you the next day, give yourself some breathing room instead of approaching them again so soon. Bringing up an argument too often can lead to talking in circles, not a resolution.

    5. Don't just say, "I'm sorry" if they're still hurt.

    That says, "I'm sick of this. Leave me alone. I want to do something else," Laurie Puhn, a couples mediator and author of Fight Less, Love More, tells Woman's Day. "What you want to say is, 'I'm sorry for…' and explain what you're talking about. The second part of the apology is, 'In the future, I will…' and fill in the blank with how you won't make the mistake again."

    6. Don't make excuses for why you fought.

    There are a million things on which you could blame an argument: a bad day at work, a headache, a restless night. In fact, a University of California Berkeley study found that couples who don't get enough sleep are more likely to fight. Still, passing the blame isn't fair to your or your partner. "Fights are about information," Dr. Golland says. "If you're angry, sad or hurt, that's information your husband needs to know." The next time you have a bad day at work, send a warning text before you get home, Dr. Golland suggests. That way, they know that you may be more irritable.

    A University of California Berkeley study found that couples who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to fight.

    Tino Tedaldi//Getty Images

    7. Don't walk away if they re-approach the argument.

    If it's been only a few minutes since your fight, tell your SO you're open to any questions or hearing about lingering frustrations after they've had time to think. If they want to revisit the issue after a few days, though, don't turn your back on them. "Non-verbal communication is as loud as yelling," says Dr. Golland. If you find yourself walking away, apologize, return and hear them out. "Reflect back what he's telling you: 'So you're saying [fill in the blank]. Correct?' Check in to make sure you're getting it right."

    8. Don't keep getting in jabs.

    Still reeling from a fight? That doesn't give you the right to mutter not-so-sweet nothings. "Never call a person a name. It's hard to recover from that," Sussman says. So if you fought about your vacation budget, don't say they're cheap when you're looking at your friend's photos from her trip to Greece. Name-calling only makes them "come back swinging with insults," says Sussman. Instead, ask them to talk through what's still bothering you once you've calmed down. Say something like, "I know you're concerned we don't have the money, but here's a budget I made," Sussman suggests.

    9. Don't have make-up sex if you're not feeling it.

    You both said "I'm sorry" and meant it — but now they're trying to get some, and all you can think is, Seriously? "It's not that they don't realize you had a fight," says Sussman. "Many men want to have sex to feel close." If going at it is the last thing on your mind, let them down gently. "Say, 'Thank you for feeling like you want to be close to me, but I'm not in the mood right now," she suggests. "Hug him, and tell him that maybe you can have sex tomorrow." Don't just roll over and refuse them without an explanation. "That will hurt his feelings," Sussman says.

    "Never call a person a name. It’s hard to recover from that," says licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert Rachel A. Sussman.

    Marko Geber//Getty Images

    10. Don't focus on what caused the fight.

    Your energy is better spent on the solutions for the problem. Puhn uses this example: Say your spouse forgot to bring cash to a cash-only event. You had a tiff about it, but then you went to an ATM and the issue was resolved. Enjoy the night instead of replaying your partner's screw-up in your head. "The difference between a bad fight and a good fight is whether or not you reached a solution," says Puhn. On the other hand, if their forgetfulness is consistent, try saying, "I'm noticing that you aren't carrying cash much these days. What's going on there?" It's a less judgmental way to get at the issue than, "Ugh! Not again!"

    11. Don't say, "I didn't mean it."

    "Saying this is like trying to use an eraser on permanent marker," says Puhn. "It inflames the situation because your [partner] will say: 'Yes you did!'" Going back and forth on what you said or didn't say, meant or didn't mean, keeps you focused on the past instead of working toward a solution for the future, which is the goal of any disagreement. If they say, "I didn't mean it," say, "You didn't mean it, but the result was that I felt this way. So in the future, please do XYZ."

    "The difference between a bad fight and a good fight is whether or not you reached a solution," says Laurie Puhn, a couples mediator and author.

    PeopleImages//Getty Images


    Don't beat yourself up that you had a fight.

    Everyone wants a partner who's invested — and fighting can be a sign that you're both still working at the relationship (a positive thing!). Puhn says she knows a couple is doomed when they say, "We used to fight a lot, but now we raise our hands and walk out." It's not that they don't disagree on things. "It means they're letting the relationship go, which is what happens before they leave or find an affair," Puhn says. So feel good that you both still care enough to get to the bottom of your issues.

    Elissa Sanci

    Elissa Sanci is an Associate Staff Writer at the product review site Wirecutter.com and a former editorial assistant at Woman’s Day.

    This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

    A parent is also a person: hurtful words of a child and how to react to them

    Alexandra Chernysheva, a psychologist at the Architecture of the Future Center, tells parents where the hurtful words of a child come from and how to respond to them.

    — Often during a quarrel, people utter unpleasant words, which they subsequently deny. Are we really not saying what we think, or in this state, exactly what we have kept in ourselves for so long emerges?

    - Both options occur. Very often, in the heat of a quarrel, those words are uttered that the person did not originally intend to utter. Of course, a person thinks about these words and keeps them in his head. However, this does not mean at all that he would have expressed this out of a conflict situation. In adolescence, quarrels are often accompanied by a surge of emotions. When dissatisfaction with each other accumulates, in a fit of quarrel, on emotions, everyone can express what worries him and annoys him in a rude manner.

    Age-related crises in a child: how not to go crazy for a parent?

    — What to do if the child uttered an offensive painful phrase, after which it seems that it will not be possible to return to the past relationship?

    -First, think about the so-called "I-statements". The essence of the method is that we say about ourselves and our emotions: not “You offended me”, “You upset me”, “You made me angry”, but “I was offended”, “I was upset” and “I got angry”. Thus, start by acknowledging the existence of your emotions.

    Every person knows the painful points of relatives and friends and can unconsciously put pressure on them in quarrels. The child, uttering a phrase offensive to you, does just that.

    Secondly, it must be remembered that in the relationship between a parent and a child, the main role is assigned to the parent. If it seems to you that after the hurtful words uttered by the child, you cannot return to the previous relationship, then you treat the child as an equal, which is wrong. The main one is the parent, and his task is to explain to the child what the consequences are due to unpleasant words and expressions. In the event that we are offended and deeply immersed in resentment, we find ourselves outside the parent-child relationship, which is harmful to both parties.

    - Let's look at the most common phrases. What does it mean if a child says, "You don't love me"?

    -Most often this is a request for attention. The most correct reaction of the parent will not be to answer: “No, I love you,” but to try to understand what the child is missing. It is necessary to ask the child why it seems to him that he is not loved; how he generally understands that he is loved by loved ones, that is, in what actions love is manifested for him.

    By the way, it is useful for parents themselves to analyze this: how do you understand that you are loved. Another quite common option is an attempt at manipulation: “I want that toy, that gadget,” etc. If you understand that now is just such a case, it makes sense to talk with your child about the relationship between love and financial transactions. If the parent before that easily went to purchases and expenses at the first request of the child, then in the understanding of the latter, certain obligations are imposed on the parent in similar situations. This is a kind of beacon that it will not be superfluous to talk with the child about financial relations in the family.

    - If a child says "You don't understand me"?

    - This is the most common phrase during adolescence, when it seems to the child that his emotions are unique, and there has never been such a thing as with him, and with no one. It's great if a parent can remember himself as a teenager, what he wanted from his parents. It may not be superfluous to share these memories with the child in a calm environment.

    — How can one interpret the words “I wish I were dead” or “If I die, you will understand everything”?

    — Usually behind such words there is a strong emotional reaction on the part of the child. At the same time, it is usually difficult for children to articulate strong emotions: babies stomp their feet and shout: “I don’t love you, you’re bad.” Older children may say: “I’ll die, then you’ll see.”

    It is important to put yourself in the place of the child, to try to understand what he is experiencing at this moment. It is important to ask him questions: “Are you hurt, sad now?”, “You are angry now, right?”. Help to understand the emotion itself and choose the right name for it. If we discuss everything together with the child, most likely it will turn out that he is not going to die.

    In extreme cases, if the child often says this, then it can go into manipulation, just like with any other phrase. It is important to keep in mind here that children often express what adults are afraid of. This happens both with words and with behavior. When a child climbs a window in the middle of an argument, he realizes that the parent is afraid of this. If you react to this with fear and panic, then, on the one hand, you reinforce such behavior in the child, on the other hand, do not go to the level of interaction and clarifying his emotions.

    — If a parent hears: “You are a bad mother”, “You are a bad father”?

    — The idea that we are bad parents has been in our minds since the birth of a child. In addition, the parent is actively reminded of this by relatives, acquaintances, doctors, educators and other people who surround him. This is the simplest thing that can piss off a parent and make them feel guilty. Further, the parent either begins to worry and try to do better for his child, or begins to become more angry, so that the quarrel escalates even more.

    This phrase is an attempt to bring out an emotion and get rid of one's emotional experiences. "I feel bad, I'm sad, you're a bad mother!" - and here we threw off the emotional stress. The child, subtly feeling, clings to our emotions. Sometimes it's just resentment and manipulation, and sometimes it's an attempt to reach out and show that there is something specific that he does not like. In the latter case, this is calculated by a simple question: "What do you not like?". After it, you can move to a constructive level of problem solving. The main thing is to cope with emotions and do not go over to mutual accusations with the child.

    - What is behind the phrase "I hate you"?

    - In this situation, I would listen to what the parent feels at this moment. In our society, manifestations of strong negative emotions are taboo. If we remember the family as a concept, then in it, traditionally, a child should not be indignant, cry loudly in public, get angry, but should correspond to the image of a good child. Therefore, he says “I hate you” when a lot of emotions and discontent have accumulated, so strong that an explosion occurs.

    - If we hear from a child "I'm leaving home"?

    - Again, we divide into 2 layers. The first layer is manipulation. If the parent reacted correctly (demonstrated calmness and firmness of position), then this will not happen next time. If we are afraid of this, then the child will follow this path in every new dispute. On the other hand, if everything is really good in the relationship, there is mutual understanding in the family, usually such a problem does not arise. Thus, it can be, albeit manipulative, but still a signal that the child is worried about something.

    - How to respond to "You ruined my life"?

    - This phrase works both ways: it can be heard from teenagers to parents, and vice versa. The first thing a parent should do is to remember if he himself said such words to the child. If not, we return to the pronunciation of our own emotions and back to "I-statements".

    If you know that the child was told this, it is important to realize and understand that the problem may be deeper. A child, accustomed to the fact that a parent blames him for his own failures in life, considers such phrases to be the norm. Accordingly, the first step to correct the situation will be the parent's refusal of such an argument in quarrels and the recognition of his wrong. It is important to remember that a child who considers himself guilty of the misfortune of his parents bears this burden all the time, which is reflected in his self-esteem and behavior.

    - How to understand the phrase "Get off me"?

    - The child says this if his personal boundaries are violated. For example, there is too much parental attention and it is overprotective or it is not what the child needs, and the child is treated like a child. “Get away from me” may well be a signal that the parent is too much in the life of the child, and not in the format of a senior partner, but in the format of a controlling policeman. “What are the grades, what’s at school, why didn’t you clean the room, why is it a mess?” - in the framework of such issues, contact with the child is formal, rather than friendly, partnership.

    — What to do if a child says “You don't understand anything”? "I'm an adult, I'm smart, and you're old"?

    - It is worth thinking about why the child feels that your experience cannot give him anything. Maybe it's time to move on to more partnerships with less preaching.

    — What should a parent do so that in the future the child does not clothe negative emotions in the form of offensive words?

    — It is important to speak to the child about your own emotions that you have in response to his words. If we do not do this, then at some point our own emotions can get out of control, leading to an emotional storm, a strong and unnecessary scandal. And it is useful for the child himself to understand that the child-parent relationship is still hierarchical, so in the heat of the strongest quarrel it makes sense to “choose expressions”. And this is most easily achieved through a calm explanation of their emotions by parents.

    How can a parent take care of themselves?

    — What general advice can you give to parents who encounter such statements?

    - These phrases are a marker that the child has a lot of strong emotions that he kept in himself for a long time, as a result of which it became difficult to explain them with normal harmless words. After analyzing specific situations, talk with your child about the fact that it is normal to be angry, but you need to be aware of your emotions and their background. This option is suitable for pre-teens.

    If we talk about adolescence, the scale of emotions increases several times. After all, the emotional storm that accompanies the process of puberty enhances all reactions. It is important not to forget that the child is changing, growing, it is important for him to receive from the parent not only protection and control, but attention and, at least, an advisory vote. If you want to maintain a close relationship with your child, then remember that even the smallest child is a separate person with his own feelings, desires and needs. In this case, communication will be much more successful.

    Curriculum Vitae:

    Alexandra Chernysheva

    Alexandra Chernysheva – psychologist-consultant, graduated from the Department of Crisis and Extreme Situations, Faculty of Psychology, St. Petersburg State University.

    Since 2007 Alexandra has been conducting individual and group consultations and trainings with children and teenagers, and also coordinates the work of the Architecture of the Future camp. Her scientific and practical interests include the following topics:

    • Self-confidence,
    • "Intellectual success",
    • "Effectiveness in communication".

    You can book a free ticket to the camp "Architecture of the Future", where Alexandra works:






    Posted by Author Elena RyzhenkovaHeadings Psychology and Health

    What to do in order not to quarrel? 5 tips from psychotherapist Philippa Perry – The City, 03/10/2020

    Bombora publishes a book by psychotherapist Philippa Perry “What a pity that my parents did not know about it (and how lucky my children are that now I know about it) » – 300 pages about building healthy relationships with your children. However, her recommendations will be useful for anyone who wants to find a common language with family, friends and other people. The City publishes an excerpt from the chapter "Your Child's Environment": it talks about the importance of talking about your feelings, and there is a quick reminder in case there is irritation and a quarrel is ripe.

    How to quarrel and how not to quarrel

    Quarrels occur in most families. What matters is how you handle (or don't handle) conflict, and how you handle (or don't handle) disagreements. Disputes by themselves do not always destroy relationships and, accordingly, a favorable environment for the child. People who are in successful marriages and good relationships sometimes disagree and quarrel. It is a fact. But even after that, they continue to respect and appreciate each other, voicing contradictions and sharing their feelings.

    Now let's talk about the main elements of disputes. Every conflict has a subject. This is what you fight about. Then there are your feelings about this conflict and the feelings of other people. And then actions follow, that is, how you solve the problem.

    To resolve disagreements, it is important to understand how you feel about the subject of the conflict and communicate it. The next step is to find out what feelings the subject of the conflict causes in the other person, and take them into account. Emotions aside, both sides get more and more heated, exchanging blows in a game I call "verbal tennis." They throw more and more arguments back and forth across the net in order to hurt each other as much as possible. With this behavior, the goal of the dispute becomes to score more points, and not to find an effective solution. It is possible to learn about the discrepancy of opinions and work through them only by trying to understand and find a compromise, and not by trying to win.

    Let's look at a typical family fight over washing dishes. Washing dishes is a subject of controversy, followed by how people feel about it. This is what happens when actions are limited to the exchange of facts.

    SERVER: The problem is that when you leave dirty dishes in the sink, the leftover food on them dries up and doesn't clean up as well, so mine right away. 15-0
    HOST: It takes me less time when I accumulate dirty dishes in a day and then wash them all together. 15-15
    SERVER: Leaving unwashed dishes is unhygienic. 30-15
    HOST: All bacteria will die when I wash, it doesn't matter when I do it. 30-30
    SERVER: Flies flock to leftover food. 40-30
    HOST: It's winter now. I don't see a single fly around the dirty dishes. Draw

    And so on. When one of the partners runs out of arguments and is doomed to "lose", this does not add to him love and tenderness towards the opponent. And the "winner" feels on horseback solely due to his other half.

    Another style of interaction in conflict and disagreement is what I call "Look: squirrel!", or distraction. Instead of voicing what's bothering you or your partner, you change the subject. So, when you see that the dishes are not washed, you do not indicate a problem, but say or do something else. This is not always a bad thing - it can be useful to postpone the conversation, but you can not completely avoid discussing contradictions. If you diligently avoid conflicts, you can lose the feeling of intimacy: dodging numerous taboos, you begin to bypass your partner, and then you feel lonely.

    The third way to behave in an argument is to take the position of a martyr. In this case, when you come home, you say: “Don't worry about dirty dishes. I will wash." Unfortunately, in such situations, the "martyr" rarely manages to arouse remorse in others. Ultimately, he becomes offended and blames everyone around him or turns into a persecutor (see below) and pours insults.
    The persecutor attacks: "You're just a pig if you don't want to wash the dishes. How can you tolerate such filth? Ugh!" The one to whom this remark is addressed is immediately ready to attack in response.

    None of these four types of interaction in conflicts contributes to a good family atmosphere. Fighting puts children on alert, threatens their sense of security, reduces their ability to be open and curious about the world. Instead, they have to shift their energy and attention into emergency mode.

    How then is it better to argue? When working through the contradictions that have arisen, take them apart one by one and do not forget about the true subject of discussion. You should not accumulate your bad mood and bring it down on loved ones when it is no longer possible to restrain yourself. Start with how you feel, don't attack with accusations. So, if we go back to the dirty dishes...

    “I'm so sick of leaving the clean kitchen every morning and having a pile of dirty dishes waiting for me after work. If you washed the dishes after you during the day, it would be much easier for me.”

    The ideal way is to think not about how to win, but how to understand the other. In response, you may hear: “I'm sorry, dear. I didn't want you to feel bad. I just have a lot of work. I understand that this is not the most pleasant picture that you want to see when you come home. And you can say: “Yes, you really got a lot. Okay, God bless him. Come on, you wash, and I wipe, what do you say?

    The fundamental rule of argument is to use "I" instead of "you". For example: "I'm sorry that you don't answer me when you're on the phone," not "You ignore me when you're on the phone." No one likes to receive testimonials and ratings, especially negative ones. If instead, describe how you feel because of what the other person does or says, it will be about you, and it will become much easier to listen to.

    Naturally, no method of voicing complaints can absolutely guarantee "success", that is, to provide you with what you want to achieve. But successful interaction is not manipulation. This is a good relationship. Open expression of your feelings and desires promotes close relationships, while pulling the strings of a partner cannot achieve a strong connection.

    Using the pronoun “I” instead of “you”, confessing your own emotions and trying to find out how others feel is the best way to deal with the inevitable conflicts that arise in the family. Your child will feel more secure because this behavior reduces resentment and builds rapport. Also, he is likely to adopt a respectful and emotionally correct style of arguing, seeing the right example in front of him.

    One of the first and main causes of disagreement is people's belief that they are attacked on purpose, although this is not the case. Let's take a typical family as an illustration. Let's call them the Heritage family.

    Johnny, a twenty-two-year-old student, examines his father's old leather jacket. He says: “Dad, you are already a hundred years old, you will never wear this again. May I take it for myself?"
    Keith, a teacher, feels like an old wreck after a bad day at work and futile attempts to understand his son's generation. Johnny got sick. Keith raises his voice, "What, can't you wait until I'm dead to start rummaging through my things?"
    Johnny feels like the scandal has broken out of the blue, and he feels like he's being attacked. “Damn, I was just asking! Why are you always picking on me?"
    "I'm not nitpicking, I just don't want you to act like I'm already dead."

    This quarrel cannot be called serious. I'm sure Keith will end up throwing his jacket at Johnny and saying, "Here, take it." And Johnny will say: “I don’t need your junk. You still have to dress you in something to put in a coffin. They will both laugh and the incident will be over. But if they don't understand what really happened, they'll both be left with a bad taste and very likely something similar will happen again.

    So let's see what's really going on. Imagine that a wise intermediary intervenes.

    "He wants me dead," says Keith.
    “Nothing like that. I want his jacket,” Johnny says.
    "It's the same thing," says Keith, realizing it's not.
    The mediator intervenes: “No, of course, not the same thing. But to you today, Keith, that's exactly what it sounds like. Except Johnny doesn't have to know about it. You, Keith, thought you were being attacked and hit back. And since Johnny didn't understand that you were feeling attacked, he got the impression that your reaction to his words was not caused by anything on his part. Naturally, he went on the counteroffensive.
    "Yes, as far as I'm concerned, it is," Johnny says.
    Keith is silent, so the mediator convinces him, "Just because you feel like you're being attacked, you shouldn't jump to the conclusion that you really are."
    "He said I was a hundred years old!" Kit defends.
    Intermediary: “Yes, he hides his feelings behind arguments. He learned this from watching your games of "verbal tennis" from birth. If you look deeper, you seem to have a hard time coming to terms with age, so you cling to the symbols of your youth like a leather jacket. It's quite forgivable, so you can confess."

    A new version of the conversation could be:

    “What a cool leather jacket. May I take it for myself?"
    “I need to think about it… I understand that you really want her, but I'm not ready to part with her just yet. I may never wear it again, but I need to get used to the idea of ​​how old I already am. The things of my youth bring me comfort."
    "I'm sorry, I involuntarily reminded you that you are already sixty."
    "Don't worry, I should remember that. I feel like an old man because I don't understand some of my students."
    "For example?"
    "I just thought I understood something about social networks, when I hear "swipe left". What does he want to say?
    “So, let me show you…”

    Exercise: get to the bottom of it

    Recall your last fight with your loved one. Instead of focusing on who was right and who was wrong, try to unfold what happened, as I did with the example of the clash between Johnny and Keith. Now - again, as was done in the example - look at the situation from the outside and work through the feelings of all the actors. Then take on the role of a wise mediator and think about what can be changed in the dialogue that led to disagreement and how to improve it. Below is a quick reminder of what to keep in mind when you have to talk about difficult topics, when you are annoyed or feel the inevitability of a fight:

    1. Communicate your feelings and take the other person's feelings into account. This is not the same as calling yourself "right" and the other "guilty" and does not mean calling yourself "smart" and the other "stupid". Nothing destroys relationships and families like a person who insists on being right. Instead of thinking in terms of "right or wrong", it's better to think about what each of you is experiencing.

    2. Build your boundaries, not the boundaries of another. To do this, use the pronoun "I", not "you".

    3. Don't react - think. You don't always have to think things through before you react - I'm not asking you to lose your spontaneity. But if you are feeling annoyed or angry, I think it's a good idea to take a break and understand why this happened. If the Keith in the situation described above had done this, he would have realized that the anger he experienced in response to the question about the jacket was not really related to his son.

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