Extra Resource: 8 Mistakes Women Make In An Argument

by John Gray, Ph.D., author of “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”

 

1. Raising your voice with emotion
Try to resist the temptation of being accusing, mocking, or sarcastic.

2. Using rhetorical questions
Avoid asking questions like, “How could you say something like that?” Try to express what you do like and accept. For example, “I understand and agree with that, but…”

3. Making generalized complaints
Saying things like “We never spend time together.” or “You’re not doing the things that you said you would do.” are not specific enough for men. In general men do not respond to the abstract as well as the specific. Give examples of what he has done if you want to be heard. Give direction with such comments as, “Let’s plan a date to go out this week.”

4. Expecting him to respond like a woman instead of a man.
Try not to say things like “Why can’t you speak from your heart?” or, “You’re not opening up to me.”  Try to say things like, “I understand that it is difficult for you to open up about this,” or, “I know you want to solve the problem, but right now I just need you to hear me.”

5. Bringing up old issues
Don’t muddy the waters with past arguments and points of disagreement. Stay with the issue you are dealing with at the moment otherwise you run the risk of having your partner turning off his hearing all together.

6. Comparing him to another man or how he acted in the past
Never compare him to another man unless you want the fight to escalate quickly. Even more confusing for him are comments like, “You used to be so much more affectionate.” Instead make a positive statement and give him a model of behavior you want him to follow. For example, “I love it when you….”

7. Expecting him to make you feel good
Women need to take the responsibility to feel good on their own, especially after a fight or argument. Do not say things like, “Well that doesn’t make me feel any better.” Try instead to say, “I think I’ll take some time for myself and go play some tennis, or do some shopping, or take a walk.”

8. Controlling the conversation.
These are the times when your mate feels like he is facing a tsunami of issues without having a chance to stand up and explain things from his perspective. You’re never going to come to a satisfactory conclusion in any argument until both sides feel they have had a chance to express themselves.