1. Prepare To React Positively
You have probably heard that you cannot change someone, only they can change if they decide they want to. Since that is true in most cases, you will have greater results affecting the outcome of a situation by changing something you do, instead of trying to force someone else to change.
Is your partner constantly in a sour mood? Do they complain about every little thing? Are they eager to argue and seemingly slow to make peace? There can be many reasons why people behave as they do. A person's childhood can have a strong impact on their emotional makeup as an adult. Stress could make even Mother Theresa a grouch. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why we do the things we do.
When it comes to arguing with the one you love, you may have more control of the situation than you think. How you react can either fuel the fire, or douse the flame. To illustrate, imagine that you and your partner are preparing dinner for a small house party. You are in charge of dessert but you completely forget about as you are tending to other things.
What might your partner say? "What is wrong with you!?", "How could you forget?!", "Every time we have a party this happens!?". Your reaction may very well be a justified reminder of the last time they messed up the guacamole dip for your Super Bowl party. While you may be correct in your retort, does it make things better? It likely will lead to more arguing, possibly effecting your mood for the entire evening.
"To know when to go away and when to come closer is the key to any lasting relationship." - Domenico Cieri Estrada
A word or phrase at the right time can change the entire tone of a conversation. Sometimes the best thing to say is "you're right, I messed up". A positive reaction to an outburst is often the quickest way to end an argument. If this does not come naturally to you, you will need to prepare yourself ahead of time to react this way. Once you have done this a few times it will become more natural to you. Not only will you feel better about yourself, but your partner will gain more respect for you.
"To err is human; to forgive, divine." - Alexander Pope
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2. Celebrate your partner
We celebrate all kinds of things throughout the year. I dare say we don't even know the full meaning of everything we celebrate. How often do you celebrate the one you love? Once a year? Pick a day this month to do something special for the one nearest and dearest to you.
Some things you can do to show that you appreciate the one you love: buy them flowers, make them breakfast in bed, purchase a fancy bottle of lotion and give them that foot message they have been wanting. Make sure you follow up by spending time doing a hobby they like. The point is to focus on them. Show your appreciation for all the things they do. Make sure you do this with no strings attached. This is about them, not you.
3. Time and Temper Your Criticism
If you have a problem with your partner that you cannot overlook, you need to talk to them about it. To achieve the best results, pick a time and think ahead what you can say so as not to attack your partner, but to frankly and calmly make them aware of the issue. While you may be inclined to bring this matter up as soon as your partner walks in the door, that is probably not the best moment.
You should think ahead of the points that you want to address, and offer constructive criticism to help your partner over come them. Don't get offended if your partner does not take kindly to your suggestions. It can be difficult to take criticism. Plan ahead so as to keep your emotions in check, although at the same time it can be good to let your partner know how you feel. Stay in control and avoid getting angry.