How to Resolve Arguments and Foster Healthy Relationships

Argument are inevitable, and if not resolved properly, they can cause issues. Learn how to resolve arguments in a productive way to make sure your conflicts don't get out of hand

Sometimes, conflicts are unavoidable.

Despite our best attempts to be the bigger person, at times our egos kick into action, and a harmless conversation can explode into a firestorm of anger. That’s why it’s important to resolve conflicts with the least amount of drama involved.

There is no clear course of action to resolve arguments. Everyone is different, and it can be tricky to navigate complex personalities.

However, you should learn from your arguments, and discover the best path to resolve them gracefully. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the best practices to resolve arguments and prevent a small trife from turning into an all-out war.

Healthy arguments vs destructive arguments

Arguments will naturally happen with anyone you spend a lot of time around. Though they’re not pleasant to experience, sometimes they are necessary.

Sometimes, they’ll get the best of you and cause a wake of destruction. You’re only human after all. Nobody’s perfect so don’t beat yourself up about it, but do learn from the arguments you want to avoid in the future.

Until you learn how to navigate arguments, dealing with people can feel like traversing a minefield. One step too far, and all hell breaks loose. Until you know how to navigate these minefields, arguments can have a heavy toll on your emotional health and hurt the people you care about most.

To gain a better understanding of arguments, let’s quickly explore the difference between healthy arguments and destructive arguments, because awareness is the best remedy.

Healthy arguments

Arguments can be healthy as they dredge up suppressed emotions and bring underlying issues to the surface. This creates a pathway for productive dialog and healing.

Given there’s a resolution, arguments can clear the air and bring balance back to the relationship. They are a way for people to vent, which we all need to do from time to time as venting acts as an emotional release.

Furthermore, arguments show us where people’s boundaries lie. They’re part of learning how to navigate different personalities. So they’re not all bad, but they can certainly be destructive when taken too far.

Destructive arguments

Destructive arguments are common in dysfunctional relationships where each person sets out to win rather than understanding why the other person is roused up.

Destructive arguments quickly spiral out of control and often leave lasting damage. They can open old wounds, and likely create new ones too. They occur when people deliberately try to hurt one another instead of trying to resolve the argument.

Nothing good comes from a destructive argument. People only get hurt, it doesn’t resolve anything, and it usually leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

Avoiding arguments

Couple in the middle of an argument

It doesn’t matter how enlightened you think you are, you will get into arguments sometimes.

Emotions such as frustration and resentment compound, brick by brick, and that energy needs to be cleared to restore emotional equilibrium.

The chemistry between you and the person you’re around will never be perfect. Naturally, there will be friction at times, but your perception of an argument makes a world of difference.

Regardless of how long I’ve been on the personal growth journey, I still get into arguments. Sometimes with my partner, sometimes with my mum. I’m not going to pretend I’ve cracked the code because I haven’t.

But I have gotten much better at navigating them.

To me, arguments are learning mechanisms that create space for reflection, change, and growth. When an argument is building up, I now perceive it as a growth opportunity and make sure that my relationship is better off after the argument than before.

Therefore, learn to see arguments as instruments for growth. Of course, you don’t want to needlessly facilitate them, but recognize the role they play to take a more mature stance on the subject. This will help you diffuse them before they become an issue.

Communicate preemptively

As always, prevention is better than cure.

If someone seems upset, sometimes it’s best to open that can of worms before it evolves into a bigger issue. Addressing early signals before they manifest into a problem can prevent arguments.

So ask the person what’s wrong.

Create a nonjudgmental space where the person knows they can open up to you. If they feel like you don’t care, they won’t speak, and the tension will continue building.

Be attentive

There are always signs that tension is building. Often you will feel a tangible difference in the energy if something needs to be discussed. From my experiences navigating a wide variety of different personalities, I’ve become aware of some common reasons why tension may be building:

  • Poor communication: A lack of effective communication can cause frustration
  • A lack of awareness of boundaries: Obliviously overstepping boundaries can get on the person’s nerves
  • Missing obvious cues: If you’re not aware of hints and cues, the person might feel frustrated
  • Unresolved Issues: Lingering unresolved issues can contribute to escalating tensions
  • Assumptions and Misinterpretations: Making assumptions can lead to misunderstandings and conflict
  • Emotional Triggers: Certain behaviors might trigger the person

All of these points may seem quite innocent. However, the person may not know how to express themself or may feel awkward raising their concern. This is why effective communication is needed.

Noticing issues aren’t always obvious. Therefore, the more awareness you have of subtle cues, the easier it will be to prevent an argument from happening. This requires social calibration and self-awareness.

Common signals include:

  • Changes in body language and mannerisms
  • Changes in eye contact such as avoiding a direct gaze
  • Changes in attitude and behavior
  • Moodiness
  • Agitation in their tone of voice
  • Physical tension such as crossed arms or fidgeting
  • The person’s choice of word, or lack of

Don't involve the ego

Mature adults discuss without getting caught in the need to be right, because nobody wins when the ego is in play. A heated discussion can escalate very quickly when the ego isn’t managed.

Everyone wants to prove a point by blocking their ears and shouting their opinion. The argument becomes personal, and the victory is based on how much they could hurt the other person.

During an argument, people just want to be heard, but sometimes this desire comes at the expense of hearing the other side of the story. People feel like they haven’t expressed themselves because nothing they say is acknowledged.

Instead of aiming to make a point, aim to resolve the issue. Recognize when you’re ego is coming out of the woodworks and calmly diffuse the situation instead of fighting fire with fire.

Without tension, the argument wouldn’t have happened in the first place. Therefore, acknowledge that the argument came up for a reason, and seek to clear the air. 

Navigating arguments

Couple in a conflict

The best way to navigate an argument is to be diplomatic about your approach. This can be difficult when you’re in the heat of the moment, however, finding mutual ground is key.

Aim to find a solution that is mutually beneficial for everyone involved. Be honest, but compassionate. Compromise on matters so everyone walks away feeling somewhat relieved.

Try to reach a consensus to allow one another to speak undisrupted. This means no combatting, arguing, or rebutting. Allow the other person a few minutes to fully express themself, then you take your turn. Actively listening and acknowledging the person is crucial.

When both people have a chance to fully express themselves, the energy changes. It becomes a much more productive space where everyone can feel heard.

It’s important to acknowledge what the trigger for the argument was.

Hold the space

Sometimes people are emotionally charged and just want to blow off some steam. When this is the case, you need to let them.

When people are venting their frustrations, it’s important not to take it personally, regardless of how attacked you feel. Sometimes you just need to let the person vent, knowing that anything you say will add fuel to the fire.

In my experience, holding space usually diffuses the situation. The person will eventually calm down after getting everything they need off their chest. This creates footing for a productive discussion.

Speak from your point of view

Speak about your issues from your perspective. Once you point the finger, the person will likely interpret it as an accusation, and get defensive.

Using definitive statements such as “You aren’t listening to me” will exacerbate the issue. Even if you believe the other person was in the wrong, phrase it from a personal perspective, such as “I feel you aren’t listening to me”.

A simple shift in phrasing the situation can make a world of difference.

Therefore, focus on how you feel rather than what they’re doing. Speaking from your point of view avoids casting blame and triggering their defenses. It also humanizes you which may help the person see your perspective.

As always, do this in the least condescending was possible.

Some examples include:

The incorrect way to say it The correct way to say it
“You aren’t listening to what I say” “I feel like you aren’t hearing what I’m trying to say”
“You don’t care about my opinions” “This is making me upset because I feel like my opinions aren’t acknowledged”
“This is unfair, you’re wrong” “What you said made me angry because I feel like this is unfair”
“You were wrong, and you shouldn’t have done that!” “What you did really upset me”
“Have you lost your mind? I didn’t do that, you’re making it up!” “I understand how you feel, but I honestly did not do that”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about right now” “I’m not quite sure what you mean, but I’m listening to you”

Avoid retaliating

If you stay level-headed without retaliating, the fire will smolder because you aren’t further provoking the other person. If someone is shouting, do your best to stay centered, but don’t play their games.

Avoid becoming dismissive, belittling, or manipulative when you’re in an argument. Emphasize that you want to resolve the argument by understanding their needs. Show them that you are committed to resolving the situation. If you demonstrate that you can work on your issues, then they will likely make the effort too.

Don't engage

It takes two people to fuel destructive arguments because they’re essentially games of tennis. You can’t play the game if the other person isn’t hitting the ball back.

If the other person is blinded by emotion and will not see your stance on the situation, don’t try to force it across. It’s only going to aggravate them further. Likewise, if you feel your boundaries are being crossed, it’s best to assert your position and revisit the conflict at a later point.

Make it clear that you are only willing to discuss the problem if it’s done civilly.

Resolving the argument


After the peak of the argument, you should notice a tangible change in the energy. There will be a sense of calm, but it’s not over yet.

Even after an argument has died down, there may still be open wounds. This is why resolving the argument is necessary as it acts as closure and prevents similar arguments from occurring.

Here’s what to do once an argument has died down to patch up the wound, heal, and grow from it.


Self-observation is needed to look into yourself and pull out the rotten gears. Unless you reflect on everything that was said (and everything you did), the issue will continue repeating itself.

Don’t just bat away everything that was mentioned, otherwise, you’re back to square one. They have illuminated things that you can improve upon. Believe it or not, they are doing you a service by bringing your attention to it, so you can better yourself.

Acknowledge what they have said and start taking steps to implement changes to avoid causing friction in the future.

I’m not saying all the responsibility falls on you because it’s a two-way street. However, it is your responsibility to do what’s within your control. That means working on yourself.


After the fire has been extinguished and both parties have been given space to breathe, it’s important to debrief. Unresolved arguments leave a foul odor that needs to be dealt with. If you let that odor sit, it will potentially lead to more arguments down the track.

This is why there needs to be a conclusion. It’s important to debrief after the dust has settled. This provides a window to wring out any remaining negative energy and turn the page.

Apologize if you were in the wrong. Apologizing is especially necessary if you said some nasty things or hurt the other person. I usually revisit the discussion by compassionately saying something along the lines of:

‘I’m sorry about the argument yesterday, do you want to talk about it?’


‘I was reflecting on our argument, and I see your point on _______. Is there anything else you want to say?’

Ask the person if they want to discuss anything else. Set time aside to make sure the issue has been completely ironed out.

It's a learning process

I hope this information will help you smooth over future conflicts, and take a more productive approach.

Learning how to navigate people effectively is a learning curve. You will continue to get into arguments, and sometimes your ego will get the best of you. However, make sure you’re always doing your best to resolve these conflicts in the best possible way.

For my personal story about resolving a recurring conflict by embodying the higher self, visit:

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