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How Best to Make Up After an Argument (It's Not Make Up Sex)

July 27, 2014, 9:35 PM

What's the Latest?

Men and women respond differently to arguments, according to a 2003 paper published in the journal Personal Relationships. What the study found is that across 62 cultures from all over the globe, men reported higher levels of "attachment avoidance," meaning they were more likely to avoid negative emotions and conflict situations than women. When it comes to arguing, men tend to apologize quickly, wanting to move on with things, while women prefer to talk through problems. But by thinking past their own blind spots, say psychologists, men and women can work together to resolve arguments in ways that help, rather than hinder, the relationship.

What's the Big Idea?

Widener University's Dr. Hal Shorey has put forward five suggestions we can all take to keep a normal argument from turning into relationship poison. (1) Wait till everyone has cooled off before trying to resolve the argument. When passions flare, hurtful things can be said, so just wait a little and then talk. (2) Focus on the other person's feelings, not on being right. (3) Mirror the other's position by saying you understand how you have made them feel. Again, how someone feels is neither right nor wrong. (4) Avoid the word "but" in an apology, as in, "I'm sorry but...". (5) Finally, explain to your partner that you care about him or her and that you're willing to change your behavior. 

Read more at the Wall Street Journal

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