This is a follow up article for How To Turn An Argument Into Being More In Love which was published earlier this week.
To argue or not to argue? That is the question.
Before you jump into a quarrel, you might consider asking yourself these things.
1. IS IT WORTH IT? Most marital disputes are about nothing at all. Nothing… at all… Nothing! At all! So keep that in mind when you head in the direction of a spat. Is it worth the stress it will cause you to get upset — about THIS? Probably not.
2. WHAT’S AT THE CORE OF THIS CLASH? What’s the essence of the issue at hand? Usually, it’s about having what you want, or freedom to be you. That’s a nice thing to have, so see if you can figure out how to be you and get what you need. Don’t go for compromise, go for being creative. Your differences make you a stronger couple.
3. LEARN TO OBSERVE YOURSELF. You can say somebody’s wrong, you can even shake your finger at them and give them a lecture, without making them wrong, and it’s way more fun. You do this by not taking yourself so seriously. How do you get there? Learn to observe your thinking. Be the observer of the thinker of the thought. The thought is just a thought. It’s not you. You don’t have to get all caught up in the thought. You can observe the thought, as in “Oh, I notice I’m having this thought.” If you can teach yourself to do that, oh, the freedom you’ll find!
4. MAYBE YOU’RE NOT THAT FAR APART. The essence of what you’re both saying may not be that far apart. We’ve all watched our parents declare that they are on opposite sides of the fence — but they’re not! Often, all it takes is one small act of generosity in listeningon the part of either person to turn things around. Or being lighthearted or keeping a sense of humor for heavens sake!
5. DON’T TAKE THINGS SO PERSONALLY. Learn to be unarguable-with! Don’t take personally what the other person says. If you take it personally, you’ve sunk your own ship. Whatever they are saying is more about them. Let them say it and leave it with them. Don’t pick it up and make it about you. This is huge.
6. WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT? Decide what’s more fun, arguing or getting along. Fighting or loving. Saying awful things or respectful things. Hating or laughing. Being frustrated or calm. Being judgmental or being who you truly are. Make a choice and go with it. You’ll learn a lot either way.
7. HOW COULD WE HAVE MORE FUN TOGETHER? Find the places where you enjoy each other to the fullest and do more of that. What makes you laugh? One of the things I love about Eric is that we meet in the field of humor. We have similar, quirky ideas about what’s funny and it saves us.
Of course this subject of laughter is in some ways a cautionary tale. Remember that sarcasm is not humor. Being mean-spirited doesn’t feel good to the giver or the receiver. Criticizing someone through laughter is a “no pass.”
And finally, if you need a little regular practice in lightening up, play with animals, babies or young children. Or maybe even customer service folks. Whatever works for you! Get your silly back!
You can use laughter to open up your heart about something tense, rather than covering up emotion. Let laughter be a doorway to letting go, exploring or uncovering. Laughter can open you and your beautiful, passionate heart to more awareness and more love.
Happy “arguing!” Have (much more) fun with your differences. Your differences are not there to create problems. They are there to help you. They are there for your exploration, expansion, self-expression and joy.