Have you recently found yourself competing or arguing in your long-distance relationship?
Long-distance friendship squabbles stink, don’t they?
Arguing in any partnership is unpleasant. Fighting from a long shot, on the other hand, can be terrifying, isolating, and depressing. To make matters worse, long-distance battles are more difficult to settle.
When you’re apart (especially when you can’t see their expression or any body language), it’s more difficult to “interpret” the scenario and find out how your companion is feeling and what the problem is. Don’t even get me started about how trivial it is to misread or misinterpret anyone while messaging!
When you’re in a long-distance partnership, it may even be more difficult to “battle well.” The gap allows it possible to avoid bringing up difficult subjects and to avoid complaining about them (or talking at all) when they do emerge.
All of this suggests that knowing how to “fight right” is much more critical when you’re in a long-distance partnership.
In my previous article, I discussed how couples deal with tension. I said earlier that good comprehension + good communication + emotional self-control implies you’re three-quarters of the way to successfully settling your long-distance combat. Or much more.
Still, as it comes down to it, what are those good coping tools that can assist us when things get heated?
What precisely could we be doing to learn to calm our emotions?
And how does any of this function in a long-distance relationship?
This article discusses techniques for dealing with and resolving disputes more efficiently, including though you are apart. When you learn, consider which of these techniques you are proficient in and which might benefit from any experience.
1. Make An Effort To Sweat The Little Stuff
If something has hurt your feelings or is troubling you, be blunt and bring it up (especially if it has happened more than once).
It’s easy to bite your tongue and shrug things off, but little annoyances have a nasty way of growing into major annoyances if we neglect them.
I’m not suggesting that you chastise them with much unanswered text or reckless statements. However, if you want to remain quiet too much after something has hurt or disturbed you, the emotional gulf between you will increase. And since you’re still geographically apart, that’s the last thing you need.
2. If Anything Is “Off,” Inquire About It With Them.
Similarly, whether your companion is flat or vague and you’re not sure why ask them what’s up and if there’s something they’d like to speak about.
It’s always simpler at the moment to just disregard the problem and assume things return to usual, particularly if you’re in a long-distance relationship, but reaching out and being constructive will pay off big time. If your partner is angry or irritated by something, you have a greater shot of noticing it early and fixing it until it becomes a big issue.
However, there is one caveat on each of these last two statements, and that is this…
Whether it’s late at night when you feel exhausted or depressed, don’t launch a discussion with your partner over really important or difficult problems. You can still return to it later. When we are exhausted or depressed, the “tiny things” may seem to be “stuff” (or “large stuff”). So, if you’re sleepy, don’t add to the problem by having talks like this.
3. Put Yourself In Front Of The Camera
Log in to Skype or FaceTime whenever you can (especially when you want to have a serious conversation or are having an argument) and toggle on the recording!
Face-to-face interaction has a direct association with confidence in a partnership, and it is far simpler to “fight right” when you can interpret and react to your partner’s facial expressions. When you communicate through a camera, you are far more likely to have a meaningful and fruitful result from a difficult discussion.
And, before we go, I’ll tell it again, because it deserves repeating: Do not argue through email!
4. Be Straightforward
It may be difficult and frightening, particularly for those of us who fear confrontation, but the straight path is the easiest and more safe way to resolve an argument in a partnership.
So do whatever you can to reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and miscommunication. Figure out what you’re mad over and why, either record yourself or call somebody and do this…
- Tell them what went wrong (“When you…”).
- Tell them how you felt about it. (“I’m feeling…”)
For example: “If you don’t pick up the phone or text me back after we’ve agreed to chat, I’m hurt, and I begin to question how valuable this friendship is to you.”
You may take that a step further by imagining what you would want (them) to do better in the future. That way, after you’ve told them how you feel and why you can steer the conversation in a positive direction. In general, though, starting with a direct “when you, I feel…” sentence is a good way to proceed.
5. Determine What The Real Issue Is
An argument (especially a petty one you’ve had before, or occasions when you catch yourself arguing and you’re not sure why or how it started) is often a sign of a larger, underlying problem.
And you can put in a lot of effort to find out what the biggest concern or root cause of the war is since that is the real issue. Whatever sparked the claim is merely a symptom of the underlying issue.
So, if you find yourself arguing, take a moment to pause and remind yourself (and each other): “No, what are we fighting over here?”
For example, are you upset that he texted you back three hours later, or are you generally feeling ignored, underappreciated, and in need of further communication? If the real issue is, call it out! That way, you will solve things as a community and concentrate on problem-solving rather than accusing and defending.
6. Get Your Items
In point six, we discussed how, whether you catch yourself arguing or feeling irritated with the same subject over and over (e.g., how long it takes to text you back, or how they haven’t called in two days), there is a deeper issue at work.
If you’ve identified the deeper issue, you must determine what deeper need, anxiety, or vulnerability is associated with it. In other terms, you must recognize and understand your things. And you should be aware that it is always these deep core topics that we are most reluctant to discuss with our spouse.
As a consequence, we cover our worries, desires, and insecurities by accusing and moaning about our partner’s actions.
How does this work in practice? So, instead of coming straight out and saying, “I would like to speak to you at least any second day,” you lament that they aren’t calling you often. If we don’t chat at least once a week, I tend to feel distant from you and insecure about our relationship.”
7. Remain On Topic
This is an easy point: keep on topic! Resist the need to pull such unfinished topics into the fray. If you remain concentrated on a single problem, you have a much higher chance of fixing it productively.
8. Ask clarifying questions
Misunderstandings trigger too many battles. So, if you’re in trouble, ask questions!!
When you are perplexed by what your companion has said or done, pose clarifying questions.
Even if you believe you grasp what somebody is doing, it never helps to double-check your understanding. I promise that if you practice asking questions, you would be shocked by how much you have misunderstood each other.
When you raise questions, your spouse feels more appreciated, acknowledged, and understood. Here are several phrases that might be useful:
- What did you say when you said?
- Can you elaborate on what you said when you said it?
- But what I understand you to be thinking is. Is that roughly correct?
- You like _____ if I understand you right. Is that correct? Could you elaborate on why it is vital to you?
9. Inquire, “Why?” Questions On “When” And “How”
When attempting to determine the root cause of a dispute or the “true issue,” it may be beneficial to pose why questions.
So, after you’ve asked, “What exactly are we arguing for here?” ask, “Why are we arguing for this?”
And if you keep asking “why?”, “What?”, and “how?” questions and dig down a few layers, you may be shocked at what you discover.
Here are some queries that may be useful:
- What exactly are we arguing for here?
- Why are we arguing for this?
- What makes it so vital to you?
- Why is this being brought up now?
- How do you respond when…?
- What thoughts go through your mind when…?
10. Pay Close Attention
You may have noted that all of the phrases I suggested above need you to first listen closely to ensure that you hear what the other individual is saying, and then pose detailed questions to explain.
You’ll be shocked by how far you can go with this talent if you practice listening properly and paraphrasing what others are talking back to them (in love and life).
11. Keep In Mind That You Are Both On The Same Team.
It’s too tempting to overlook that we’re going to be on the same page while we’re competing, but it will help if you both note that deep down you both want the same thing–to make each other happier.
This will make you focus on the problem rather than each other.
Here are several phrases that might be useful:
- I realize we love each other and that we want this to work out.
- I’m happy we have enough confidence in each other to discuss this.
- I love you, I’m happy we’re together, and I’m determined to solve this issue.
12. Take A Deep Breath.
Isn’t the sentence “taking a deep breath” so overused that it’s almost a cliché? I couldn’t, though, leaving it out because taking a deep breath is important.
What is the benefit of taking a deep breath?
Did you realize that our pulse rate increases during a confrontation (or also though we aren’t fighting but are angry with someone)?
And when our heart rate reaches a certain threshold (about 10% above our resting rate), we are “flooded.”
When this occurs, the dopamine and other tension hormones that flood our system find it impossible to think, reflect on what our companion is doing, or understand their point of view.
The more our heart rate rises, the more nervous, furious, protective, and anxious we get.
According to psychologist and researcher John Gottman, once our heart rhythm reaches 100 beats a minute, it is almost difficult for us to absorb what our companion is suggesting and thereby have a fruitful conversation. At these moments, we are more prone to partake in pointless combat or avoid necessary discussions.
Taking a slow breath will help to alleviate this stress response. Breathing gently and steadily sends a “calm down” message to our minds, which aids in the reversal of the stress reaction.
13. Take A Breather
Remember how we discussed the significance of taking a deep breath in point 1? Taking a few deep breaths, on the other hand, isn’t enough to keep us cool. When we get into a war, we can notice that our hearts are racing and that we are enraged, terrified, or exhausted.
That’s why it’s a good idea to step away from the discussion. When we are angry or “flooded,” the only thing we should do is take a rest before we are more relaxed. When you’re agitated, you’re more apt to say and do stuff you’ll eventually regret.
So, how long do you go on vacation?
Most people believe it takes them approximately five minutes to cool down after being flooded during a dispute. However, evidence indicates that it would likely take you closer to twenty minutes to cool down if you get too agitated.
Twenty minutes is a significant amount of time. It’s always a long while until we think we’ve cooled down. In reality, most people feel they have slowed down even though their hearts continue to pound considerably faster than expected.
14. Describe Why You’re Having A Break.
Allow your mate to know if you need to take a rest during an argument. Don’t just step away (or disconnect) and abandon them.
Try something like, “I’d like to chat about this when we’ve both cooled down,” or “I’m feeling very overwhelmed right now.” I’d like to discuss it, but I need some time to reflect on it first. Maybe we will meet in a couple of hours?”
This would assist your companion in understanding what is going on with you, rather than leave them feeling dismissed and neglected.
Long-distance partnerships need assurances such as, “I’ll speak to you about this later, but not right now.”
Fighting (or being aware that your spouse is angry or frustrated) is never enjoyable, but it can be particularly taxing and disturbing when it occurs on the phone. Make special attempts to convey what you’re thinking and experiencing at these moments when you’re apart. This will make your spouse feel more secure and will make it easier to revisit the problem.
15. Return To It
If you take a break, return to it! Don’t ever let it go and expect life will return to usual. Return to the subject you were arguing over to practice effective conversation, holding your promise (and generally acting like a “grown-up”).
Stick with it until you’re pretty certain you’ve recognized the underlying issue, as well as the desires and concerns behind the conflict, and then inquire, “What can we do about it?”
You might not be able to address the query quickly, so if you can’t think of an ideal idea, think of one you’re willing to pursue to offer it a shot for a bit. Trying out a temporary alternative is not a failure; it is part of the problem-solving process.
So, for a couple of weeks, try out the temporary solution, knowing you can still return to this subject. (In truth, it’s almost certain that you would, because successfully settling one dispute does not imply that you will never argue about this or a related subject again.)
16. Understand The Lesson (s)
When the war is done, take a moment to reflect on what you’ve accomplished (and what you’ve learned from each other).
You’ve been through the difficult, frustrating, and frightening process of really competing for someone you care for. Don’t let the agonizing moment pass you by. Inquire, “What do we expect from this fight?” Then, think about what you’ve heard. You can be stunned by how differently the two of you have experienced stuff, but exchanging such differing experiences may be very beneficial.
You Must Answer Two Important Questions
But there you have it… 16 easy-to-implement tactics to help you battle correctly. to attempt But keep in mind that simple does not always imply fast.
Sure, these techniques are easy to grasp. That doesn’t mean they’re all easy! However, once you bring them into motion over time, you can notice that they pay off handsomely.
So, before we go, I’d like you to address two questions.
- One of the above tactics do you excel at?
- Which ones need improvement?
What else can you bring to the list? What have you discovered to be successful in overcoming tension in your long-distance relationship? Please let us know in the comments section below.
Finally, if you want to divert your attention away from war for a bit, check out the Long Distance Relationship Blueprint. This 12-week series will provide you with lots of amazing and enjoyable topics to discuss, allowing you to get to know each other better and draw you closer together.