Everything was so perfect. Just 24 hours ago you could have sworn you were the happiest person in the world. Finally, after so many hardships and disappointments, you had managed to balance out each aspect of your life, in particular one which had never been stable: love.
You could never have imagined that such a tiny and and dumb detail would unchain a tempest. You had an argument, but not just a little argument: it was heated, fierce, and hurtful. You said many things that you now regret having said. You know he feels as terrible as you do. Yet, despite loving each other, you pushed each other away, like two idiots who lack enough maturity to solve their problems without having to hurt each other.
Whether or not you've wondered what's the best way to solve relationship problems, the true answer lies in your heart. Still, you can benefit from this 7-step guide to acquire strategies that will help you have an assertive and fruitful discussion that will prevent having a breakup over silly misunderstandings:
1. Listen closely
It is easier said than done. It requires a great effort to stay silent and pay attention to what your partner needs to say, especially if both of you got upset. Pay attention to their tone, their gestures, and the way they express themselves. How do they feel? What do they expect from you? What possible solutions can you both come up with? If you learn to be a good listener instead of shouting at your partner, you'll double your opportunities to successfully solve problems.
2. Be assertive
Being assertive means being able to communicate effectively and being clear and straight-forward about whatever you need to say. To achieve this, you just need some common sense and previous knowledge of your partner to know which are the best places where you can talk things over and solve your problems in the best possible way.
3. Find the right moment
As complicated as it may sound, when one of you is too angry at the other and feels like they could blow up in any second, the best thing is to walk away and talk things over later. This will keep the problem from growing and threatening your relationship. The same goes for your choice of place and time to have a discussion. The place must be a calm and relaxed environment. As for time, which is most important, you must make sure both of you have enough time to discuss matters without feeling pressured or being interrupted.
4. Stop wanting to be right all the time
Not only should you approach your partner with sincere intentions of solving your problems, but you should also find out the best way to settle things up. Words will be meaningless if you're not capable of leaving your ego aside, or if you harbor feelings of inferiority and try to humiliate each other. To be able to effectively discuss and successfully solve problems you need only one thing: to accept you won't always be right. If you succeed in this aspect, you will have an opportunity to take your mind off of those long arguments that reveal the worst of each other.
5. Be honest and self-critical
This is the hardest part, but achieving this ability will open many doors to a possible reconciliation and renewed promises of not failing again. The first step consists in putting yourself in your loved one's shoes regardless of who was offended. How do you think they feel? What would they do? Always consider that they can feel uncertain and consumed by anger as much as you. Meanwhile, you must also practice the values you know bring strength into your relationship, particularly honesty. This means being able to say "I'm sorry" and accept your mistakes without justifying yourself.
6. Don't make decisions right away
It doesn't matter how upset you are, saying hurtful things won't save your relationship, and far less if you're fueled by jealousy, anger, and an outburst caused by a bad day. If you feel you're not in an adequate place to discuss your problems, let your partner know, but never dismiss a dialogue or close up in the face of a possible solution.
7. Reach an agreement
You don't need to sign a contract before a court house, a witness, or your loved one. The point of this step is to simplify the conflict resolution process as much as possible. Pay attention to whatever options your partner may offer and, at the same time, make an effort to devise and offer some options yourself. Choose together a path and steps to follow in order to avoid similar situations in the future.