1. Ask yourself why you’re upset. Take time to think about your feelings before you get into an argument.
2. Discuss the issues 1 at a time: Resolve problems 1 at a time.
3. Don’t use degrading language: Degrading language is an attempt to express negative feelings and make your partner feel bad. This just leads to more character attacks.
4. Express your words with feelings: Be proactive and BOLD. Make sure you show your partner that you mean business WITHOUT being crude!
5. Take turns: Each person needs to talk and each person needs to listen. Arguments are NOT resolved if this doesn’t happen!
6. Don’t STONEWALL: If you refuse to speak, you are stonewalling. You might feel better temporarily but the issue will still be unresolved. If you can’t move forward, agree to resume the conversation a little bit later.
7. Don’t yell: If you yell and think you’ll “win,” you’re fooling yourself. It’s a TERRIBLE idea, and shows the other person that you don’t respect them. The problem will only get worse.
8. Take time outs: If things get too heated, take a time out to cool down and come back when you are not as upset.
9. Compromise: Do your best to compromise. Relationships are about “give and take.”
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