Lesson 17: Know when and how to properly walk away from a fight or argument

This is probably one of the hardest things to do in any relationship, romantic or otherwise.  Emotions are running wild, chemical levels in your body are all over the place and completely out of control.  Ego steps in.  Or maybe it is pride.  You want to strike back and you even get that feeling like what you are about to say is going to put them in their place and establish your dominion in the land of “I am right.”  

Let me tell you something about the land of “I am right.”  It is also the land of the alone.  The land of the jerk.  The land of the one not getting anywhere in that relationship.  Potentially, even the land of the “This relationship is over.”  Arguing without any kind of calm or control is a great way to get the person you are arguing with to resent or despise you.  If that is where you want to be or where you feel comfortable, then, by all means, fire those opinions away.  

The satisfaction you will get from being right is momentary.  The damage to the relationship is long term.  My recommendation, walk away, tactfully, and cool off.  Not only does it help you collect your thoughts, but it also allows you to approach the situation in a much calmer and more collected mind.  It becomes a conversation, rather than an argument.  Arguments tend to have a winner and a loser.  Conversations can be won by both.

I am not saying that it is a conversation that needs to be, or should be, avoided.  Quite the contrary.  If it gets to the point where emotions are starting to come out in a negative way, it is most definitely a conversation that needs to take place.  That doesn’t mean it has to take place at that moment.  There probably isn’t a worse moment you could try communicating about the problem.  Tell them that you need to step away and tell them why.  You would be surprised at the results.  The heat begins to cool immediately.  Let them know that this needs to be discussed but not right then.

Like anything, this is not a guarantee that everything will be OK.  Walking away shows a level of emotional maturity where words can’t.  It demonstrates that you care enough about them and the issue to want to take a step back and put some real thought into the matter.  Once emotions and tempers ease, it is much easier to reapproach the situation and have a productive conversation.  Problems are so much easier to solve when you work together on them.

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