So, one or both of you maybe lost your temper and walked away without resolving the argument. At some point in our lives, we’re all going to be faced with arguments and it’s only natural for this to happen. But it’s how we deal with the aftermath that's really significant and can determine our future relationship with the person.
Calm down!Immediately following an argument, our emotions are likely to be running high and our heads are filled with what they said and what we said. Before we can even begin to build bridges, we need time to cool down and let our emotions settle. The best way we can do this is by spending some time alone, away from other people who might influence our thoughts or actions.
Perhaps go for a walk outside or find a quiet place at home where you can clear your mind, take some deep breaths and get some clarity on the situation before you start to chew over every detail of the argument.
Once you start to feel calmer and your emotions aren’t running high, then you can start to contemplate the cause of the disagreement. In order to move forwards and resolve the situation, it’s important to accept responsibility and your part in the argument.
Sometimes, rational thinking goes out of the window and we might say things we don’t really mean. So be honest with yourself and if you feel like you might have overreacted or been hurtful, take it on board.
Talk maturelyNow that you’ve had time to calm down and rationalise your thoughts, suggest a time when you can both talk in person. Texting is never a great way to build bridges as often words are misconstrued, and it’s much more difficult to portray true feelings.
When you meet, it’s often best to start with an apology for anything you think was hurtful or unnecessary. Be sincere and perhaps remind them of all the positive qualities that you love about them. This can be reassuring and will let the other person know that just because you have an argument, it doesn’t have to mean the end of a wonderful friendship or relationship.
It’s important to speak with a mature attitude and with respect as well as trying to understand from the other person’s perspective. Even more importantly, take time to listen properly to the other person. Not everyone is going to agree with each other all the time, so rather than going over the same ground again and again, try to suggest ways to fix the problem. Sometimes we must make compromises to find some middle ground and move on from an argument, so suggest ways that you can do this.
If you can find a way to resolve the argument, learn to forgive, put it behind you and try not to bring the same issues up again in the future.
If you find yourself getting into arguments on a more regular basis, you might want to take steps to reduce the chances of getting into an ugly argument. Psychology Today has some interesting tips.