Of course, that doesn’t mean that every time you’re annoyed with your partner, you should shout at them. If you can avoid getting into a fight, you should.

So if you feel that a disagreement is about to escalate , you might find the following tips useful:

  • Take a moment. Sometimes it’s a good idea to just walk away from the situation until you’ve both calmed down. You may be able see things more clearly once you’ve had a bit of time to think. It’s usually a good idea to talk over differences when you’re not already feeling emotional or upset – and especially not during other arguments. This can minimise the risk of saying something hurtful and just making things worse.
  • Use ‘I’ phrases, not ‘you’ phrases. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Rather than phrasing your comments as attacks, talk about how you feel. That way, you’re taking responsibility for your own emotions rather than blaming everything on your partner. It can also be a good idea to comment more generally on the situation than on the people involved – that way, you can look at it as something to solve together.
  • Let go of things. A lot of conflict is caused by one or both partners being unwilling to forgive minor transgressions or holding onto things that have annoyed them. Adopting a generally forgiving attitude in your relationship can make things so much easier. This doesn’t mean letting your partner walk all over you – just letting bygones be bygones rather than allowing them stack up over time.
  • Communicate openly in general. The best place to head off an argument is before it even begins! That’s why open and honest communication in relationships is so important. If you want to talk to your partner about something, do it – don’t keep it hidden and expect them to know what’s wrong. Nobody is a mind reader, no matter how much we would like them to be.