5 Biggest Mistakes Women Make in Arguments
In last week's blog post, we explored the 5 most common mistakes men typically make in arguments.
Now, the spotlight is on us ladies!
As I mentioned in the previous blog, it's important for us to recognize that men and women are fundamentally different.
Women think, feel, perceive and understand things differently to men. Therefore how we communicate is different to how our men communicate, especially in times of confrontation or disagreements.
So in order for us to experience our most fulfilling relationships, it's crucial for us to honor this difference.
Because we have argument in relationships, not because we are bad people but because we simply don't understand the opposite sex.
Now, I'm not saying that it is only women who makes these mistakes, men can make them too.
This list has been curated based on my research, personal experience and the work I've done with my coaching clients with their relationships.
I encourage you to read the other article to get a deeper understanding of this and if you really want to step it up, I invite you to go through these 2 articles with your partner
in a open and non-judgmental conversation.
So, let's get into this!
1. Making generalized complaints
"We never spend time together."
"You don't put in the effort anymore." or
"I'm not happy."
are complaints that aren't specific enough.
This is a big mistake because
1. it makes your man feel like he has failed you in some way and
2. even when he is open to the feedback, these statements are too vague for him and therefore he's not able to fix the problem, which makes him feel more like a failure.
Instead, share your observation, followed by a request.
"I noticed that you've stopped organizing date nights like you used to
when we first started dating."
From here you can either make a short request or simply state your request it in a FYI manner.
2. Short request:
"I'd love it if you could plan a date night for us this weekend - it makes me so happy and I love looking forward to spending some quality time with you!"
3. FYI manner:
"I love spending time with you and I especially love it when you plan a date for us. It makes me really happy!"
If your man is sensitive to feedback or have the tendency to get defensive, I would recommend the 2nd way because it is a gentle way of inviting him into a conversation.
Particularly with men, the less pressure they feel to immediately respond, the more willing they will be to lovingly consider a woman's request.
2. Making comparisons to another man
Never directly compare your man to another man to prove a point. This is a big no-no, especially if you use the comparison to highlight what he hasn't done or how he has done something 'wrong'. This will lead him to feel like he has failed and could cause him to either get defensive or shut down.
Chances are, you jumped to making comparisons because you want your man to change a certain behavior.
Instead of making him feel like he isn't good enough with comparisons, share with him what you like that he already does through positive statements and give him a direct model of behavior that you want to see more of.
This way, you are using the language of appreciation to let him know what makes you really happy.
Most men LOVE making their women happy, so this is a great win-win situation for both of you.
"I love it when you take the time in the morning to talk to me and embrace me., even if it's for 5 minutes. It makes me really happy."
"I love it when you open up to me and share your feelings - I find it really sexy actually! Only a real man is brave enough to be comfortable with his vulnerabilities."
The importance here is to communicate this from a place of genuine appreciation - don't fake it just so that you can get what you want! And if he does make an effort, then make sure you acknowledge and appreciate him for his efforts!
The smallest gesture of appreciation can go a LONG way!
3. Expecting him to respond like a woman
"You aren't opening up to me."
"Why can't you be more warm and empathetic?"
or worse, not saying anything and being disappointed that he isn't responding the way you wanted him to.
This is usually the case women have just shared a complaint or something that they aren't happy with.
After making a complaint, many women will wait for some kind of warm and empathetic response like "oh I'm sorry that you feel this way. I will try to be better in the future" to complete the communication.
This is because it's the kind of response they would give to signal that they've heard the person.
But this is different for men.
When men hear complaints, their fight and flight response is activated, which leads their testosterone to go up and their estrogen level to go down temporarily as they silently analyze what they have just heard.
It's not that they are ignoring their women, they are simply taking the time to consider what they've just heard and are thinking about how they could solve the problem.
We as women need to recognize and honor this difference and give our men the space to deal with problems in their own way.
However, it's understandable that their silence can make you anxious or worried.
This is because you are looking for reassurance that they have heard you.
If this is case, acknowledge his position and directly ask for what you want and need from him.
"I know that it might be uncomfortable for you to open up about this. It's okay if you don't want to share but I would love to hear more."
What's important here is to not have an expectation of how he should respond because he may not be in a position to respond straight away.
If you can see that your man doesn't know how to say I hear you or I'm sorry but is just silent, instead of looking at him waiting for some caring response, you could say
"you are thinking about this right?"
This makes it easy for him to say "yes" which will give you the reassurance that you need to realize that your message has been received.
4. Bringing up old Issues or past mistakes with the current issue
Don't mix the current issue with past arguments or WORSE, bring up a mistake they made in the past. This is only going to make them feel bad, create resentment and turn off his listening and willingness all together.
Men's brains respond better when they can respond to one problem at a time, especially when it involves emotions.
Instead, stay with the current issue that you are dealing with at the moment.
If there are other topics that comes to mind that are related to the current issue, only bring it up AFTER the current issue has been resolved and after you check in with him to see if he's open to exploring other areas of concerns too.
"I'm glad we got to the bottom of this - thanks for your cooperation. I feel so much better now. While we were talking about this, something else came to mind. How are you feeling? Are you open to hearing about it or should we do it another time with a fresh mind?"
5. Only wanting the result to be your way
Controlling or leading the conversation in a way so that he has no choice but give in to the result that you want is a big mistake because this will create nothing but resentment and plant a seed for a future fight.
Guilt-tripping is a passive aggressive way of manipulating someone and what you are really doing is running away from owning up to what you really want and facing the discomfort of ASKING for it.
Instead, share your preference and also ask him what he needs and how you can help him to help you. Then share your appreciation for his willingness.
The important thing to remember here is to not have an expectation of how he should respond.
You must be okay with him not meeting that desire for you.
"I love it when you plan dates for us. It would make me really happy if we could go on one sometime this week. What do you say?
"Great! I'm really looking forward to it!
Is there anything I can do to help you to make this easier for you?"
"Thanks for listening - it means a lot to me."
Now, I'd love to hear from you.
What's your biggest takeaway?
Do you have a tip on how we can overcome conflicts in a relationship? What has worked for you?
Thanks for your time - until next time!