The art of arguing in relationships is a finely honed craft that is known by no-one. Anyone who says they have a healthy argument system with their partner is lying their fucking asses off because we all know they have their breaking point where someone ends up yelling something completely ridiculous, childish and asinine. You are already a massively flawed human being and being in a relationship is basically 2 lab rats being placed in a uncontrolled-environment experiment where is everyone is watching, waiting to see what happens (ok, everyone is really watching to see you fall apart). Is there anything better than witnessing a couple having a massive argument in public? I think not.
I’ve had the joy of being a spectator to these arguments in real life, the unpleasantness of going through some myself and the support of interviewing a whole bunch of people to understand why men and women argue so differently. Before I break it down, here is my (generalised) conclusion:
All women’s arguments come down to: Don’t you care about me?
All men’s arguments come down to: What more do you want from me?
Emotion vs Logic
Oh, men are the great perpetrators of logic! Logic triumphs over all! Away with you, silly emotional women! When did emotion get such a bad rep? In 2013, haven’t we established that EQ is as, if not more, important than IQ? Sometimes it feels like the minute a woman opens her mouth, the man has already dismissed her intentions as trite and sends her scuttling away back into the kitchen.
1. Stop rambling the fuck on.
2. Take a deep breath, NEVER RAISE YOUR VOICE.
3. Present your points like Bill Gates launching a new operating system (if you go the Apple presentation route, you run the risk of appearing too excited, causing him to say “This same shit again??”).
Nothing disarms, unsettles and freaks the fuck out of a guy more than when a woman is calm.
1. If you care about this woman, shut up and listen. Women are naturally hormonal, whether we want to be or not, we cannot help it. Sometimes we whisper, sometimes we scream, just listen.
2. Only mention her “hormones” or “time of the month” if you want to die. Even if you are joking, we still want to poison you slowly and watch you wither away to an excruciating death.
3. You are most likely going to be most logical between the two of you. Realise, that while you are logical, you may not always be right. (And I don’t mean right as in “correct”, I mean what is right for your relationship)
Nothing shuts a woman up faster than if you take her hand and tell her, “I hear you, tell me what you’re feeling”.
Dirty fighting isn’t tolerated in any sporting arena (from sumo to MMA). This isn’t Fight Club, and if it was, at least one of you look like Brad Pitt. No dirty punches, sly kicks or eye jabs. The name of the game is to get your point across and not to mortally wound your partner. This isn’t Bloodsport. If you are incapable of not ripping his head off and shoving it up his ass, simply say you need some time to collect yourself and will discuss this later.
Big Girls Don’t Cry
Women who cry to turn an argument around have ruined crying for the rest of us. Sometimes, we cry because we frustrated or plain ol’ sad. Then you have the tear-jerking cry babies who turn on the faucet when the argument isn’t going their way. I’ve received two different responses from men I asked about this. One feels that when he sees a woman cry, his “robotic-logical” side gets switched off and he realises he needs to be more emotional and in touch with what this woman is trying to say. Conversely, the other person I asked said that he does not give a shit about a woman crying – whether it’s real or crocodile. In fact, his actual words were “when a woman starts crying, I’m getting in my boat and rowing the hell out of there”.
Fight In The Now
It’s rare that an argument happens and stays in the present. Usually a truckload of shit gets dragged up and snowballs into every argument after. I’m guessing this means you’re basically arguing about the same problem – presented in different forms.
Note: I write a lot about this stuff but the simple fact is that I know shit about shit. I don’t know how to argue any better than the next person. I’m passive-aggressive, non-confrontational and yet opinionated. Thanks to everyone who let me interview them.