Realising that you don’t see eye to eye with someone you love is never easy. Conflict, in any capacity, is not fun. Having the first argument can feel like you’re risking becoming the kind of people who always fight.
That’s usually not the way it is, but knowing that often doesn’t do anything to prevent that sinking feeling.
But the truth is that, as long as it is approached properly, arguments can solve so many more problems than they cause.
Arguments develop when you notice a conflict between viewpoints. Whether the rift comes from someone’s bad behaviour or a difference in political views or any other irritation that has just grown over time, the worst thing you can possibly do is ignore it.
Obviously, the best way to handle it is to have a frank and honest conversation about your differences, but fickle human emotions often refuse to allow that to happen.
Many people will insist that you can just agree to disagree. Which is fine, in a lot of situations, especially when it comes to things that are based on opinions.
You can disagree and carry on completely happily. You can disagree on what your favourite food is or what place does the best coffee, and it won’t matter. You can eat different things on different days and get different coffee on different days.
You can disagree and still be absolutely fine.
But for the more serious things, agreeing to disagree just means that you’re ignoring your problems.
You’ve said that you’ll agree to disagree about something that you really should be able to agree on in order to continue with a functioning relationship. There are some things that are just going to fester and make things worse if you don’t confront them. There are things that you can’t just conveniently ignore for the sake of manufactured peace.
It’s often not a nice thing to have to do. It’s very rarely a pleasant one.
But you need to confront it.
And if the situation really is as important as you believe it is, your emotions will probably insist on getting involved. Things might get heated. You could well end up arguing.
Don’t take it personally.
Don’t make it personal.
Just be honest.
You’ll be fine.
And, at the end, you’ll feel better. You’ll be glad that you’ve voiced your problems, that they’ve been aired and that you’ve both said your piece. You might have even noticed some underlying problems you’d never let yourself be aware of before. You need to be able to hash these things out, to not keep them bottled up and let them rot inside you.
They need to be said.
Even if, the first time round, you scream and you get upset, you’ll be left with some useful food for thought. You can consider the opposing argument and try to get your head around it. You can come back to it later when you’ve both calmed down and discuss it all properly.
You can solve your problem.
Pretending that it’s okay to disagree about what’s right and wrong when someone has really hurt you, only makes it hurt more.
So talk about it, if that’s the only way you can get it off your chest, if that’s what you need to do to get past the difference.
But when it comes to the big stuff, don’t ever pretend it doesn’t exist. Don’t ever pretend it’s okay to let it lie dormant when you know, deep down, that burying it is only going to make it grow.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.