Smart Men Use These 6 Magic Words When Arguing With Their Partners
Fighting is inevitable—it’s how you argue that can make or break your relationship
By Ali Eaves
There’s a crucial difference between fights that harm your relationship and ones that improve it, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.
It comes down to whether your partner feels like you “get” her point of view.
For the study, couples discussed their hot-button issues in a laboratory. As you’d expect, the arguments made people less happy with their relationships if they felt like their partners didn’t understand them.
But the people who felt like their partners could see their perspective—even if they didn’t resolve the fight—actually felt more satisfied with their relationships after arguing.
Here’s why: Feeling understood actually activates parts of your brain associated with reward, other research shows. It can instantly improve your mood, even in the midst of a heated discussion.
That can have a snowball effect on your argument, the researchers say. Once one partner feels better, she may soften her tone, try harder to see the other person’s perspective, or be more willing to compromise.
Try it: Next time you argue with your partner, validate her point of view.
You don’t have to agree or let her win. Just say something like, “I see where you’re coming from.” Those six words could instantly defuse your fight.