We all have experienced arguments from time to time in our relationships with our loved ones. We might either feed these arguments further in order to get our point through and release the tension we are feeling, or cut off from the other person at that moment and internalize our emotions and thoughts.
What is really happening during an argument?
When we find ourselves experiencing certain emotions at the time that another person says or does something, this means that this particular reaction from them stirs up something inside of us that we have not yet solved within us. In such cases we use the other person as a mirror who is reflecting to us what it is that we need to work on and we also do the same back to them.
Relationships help us reflect our deepest fears, insecurities, desires and emotions which find a way to come out an express themselves through the other person. This is the reason that we might find ourselves getting caught up in the same patterns of emotions over and over. That way, if we are aware of ourselves and what is happening during an argument, these unresolved emotions get a chance to be worked on. These emotions usually come from our childhood years, when we were too young to be able to properly process emotional situations or there was no one to explain to us why it is we were feeling this way and therefore we pushed these emotions further in our subconscious.
When we get to know ourselves more, we start recognizing and becoming aware of our behaviors and patterns instead of allowing ourselves to get dragged unconsciously by them.
This gives us the chance to choose whether we want to continue using old behaviors that will only keep giving us back the same results and relationships, or to change the response we have towards others.
When we choose the latter, we can change the situation and the other person also gets the chance to alter their response as they now have a different reaction from us. Once we stop projecting the same energy through our responses, the other person usually will have a different reaction as now there will be a different input for them.
Even if they use their same old behavior it will be more difficult to affect us if we have changed our perception about it and we do not need to respond in the same way anymore.
The only person’s behavior we can control is our own and it is the only one we are truly responsible for, so when we start understanding ourselves and why these emotions are being triggered, we can handle tension within our relationships much easier and improve the communication with the other person.
When we realize that each argument we experience is a way to understand ourselves deeper but also a way for others to understand us, we can start noticing what is it that is being activated within us in certain situations and then communicate it to the other person too, not to blame them for it but to explain that it seems that certain behaviors trigger specific emotions inside of us.
We can explain to the other what feelings are created within us when we are faced with the situation or behavior which is upsetting us. We can also explain how our beliefs, needs, expectations and fears create those emotions within us as it is important for the other person to realize in the future, that our impulsive responses towards them are not so much an expression of our hate, but rather of our fear, insecurity and self-doubt.
By doing this, the other person is less likely to immediately go to the defense mode and might understand how we are feeling.
We usually tend to avoid exposing these vulnerable parts of ourselves as we believe they are unacceptable to others because we may be rejecting them within. We are afraid that if we show these parts of ourselves, others will reject us, use us, or even take us for granted.
To better be able to express our internal world to people around us, we can start by doing this with our own self.
Accepting our feelings and emotions to ourselves helps us better understand how we are. This also gives space to our emotions to be expressed and acknowledged which can work therapeutically as we no longer bottle them up internally, magnifying them or denying them.
Additionally, there are situations when we might be afraid to show positive attitudes to others such as closeness, care or interest which can also be common reasons for arguments.
We sometimes are afraid that if we let ourselves to freely experience these positive feelings towards others, we either might get hurt and lose our trust of feel trapped by them as they might lead on people demanding things from us.
We might also perceive this as a sign of weakness or thinking as to who has said the more positive things in comparison to the other. As a result, we then usually create more distance between us and the other person and less connection.
When we understand that others cannot create our emotions but they are rather reflecting to us the interpretations which we have given to situations, we will experience less arguments and we will more often try to see deeper into what each argument is enabling inside of us. Knowing ourselves more, helps us to have better relationships with others as we take responsibility for our own lives which are the only ones we can have control over and which then we can share with people around us.