If you and your partner fight or argue, then your relationship isn’t healthy, right? Well, not quite. Of course, you can’t just box relationships into being bad or good, as every one is different and every argument will be too. But, you might find that the occasional argument or disagreement may even be part of most healthy relationships. There are always exceptions, including any arguments that involve verbal, mental or physical abuse – these are not part of a healthy relationship.
What is a healthy disagreement?
Everyone in every relationship – whether romantic or platonic – will have faced a disagreement at some point. It’s natural. Life would be boring if we all agreed on the same things.
Lucy Beresford, a relationship psychotherapist even says that “disagreements are entirely normal, as each party negotiates within a relationship what their preferences and needs are.”
This doesn’t mean you should be arguing the whole time, but rather that you should have the courage and ability to speak up about what matters to you. In some cases, this may lead to some form of disagreement. And, if you’re both open to understanding each other and learning from the situation, you may find that you and your relationship benefit from it. Avoiding conflict or any form of argument can lead to resentment and unhealthy relationship patterns.
How to have healthy disagreements
There are many different ways to “have” a healthy disagreement. As we mentioned before, every relationship is different, so every disagreement will be different and every path to resolution will be different too.
So, knowing that each one of us will respond differently, here are some tips on how to have healthy disagreements in a relationship:
- Treat each other with respect. This also means understanding where each other’s boundaries lie and respecting them.
- Listening – really listening – to what the other person is saying, and working towards understanding their point of view.
- Find the source of the conflict. It can often happen that disagreements arise when a partner’s needs aren’t being met. This may often result in picking fights. So, dig a little deeper and work out, together, whether you’re arguing due to unmet needs.
- Accepting that sometimes it’s okay to disagree or for both to compromise. Each form of resolution has a time and place, and only you and your partner can choose when one of these solutions is the right form of resolution.
All in all, healthy disagreements can create an opportunity for both parties to feel heard, express their feelings, and can often lead to good conversations – all of which make up part of any healthy and loving relationship.
Learn more about building healthy relationships with your partner, friends and family by joining the Lovedoc waitlist. You’ll receive launch updates and a sneak peek at the app.