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

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.

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

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Big Think Edge
  • The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
  • Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
  • Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
Big Think Edge
  • Economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett breaks down what qualities will inspire others to believe in you.
  • Here's how 300 leaders and 4,000 mid-level managers described someone with executive presence.
  • Get more deep insights like these to power your career forward. Join Big Think Edge.

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

In U.S. first, drug company faces criminal charges for distributing opioids

It marks a major shift in the government's battle against the opioid crisis.

George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The nation's sixth-largest drug distributor is facing criminal charges related to failing to report suspicious drug orders, among other things.
  • It marks the first time a drug company has faced criminal charges for distributing opioids.
  • Since 1997, nearly 222,000 Americans have died from prescription opioids, partly thanks to unethical doctors who abuse the system.
Keep reading Show less