I've been in a relationship for eight years, and as I said in the title, relationships can be tricky. One minute you're ok, the next minute you're being passive aggressive because your significant other stole a French fry from your plate after they already said they weren't hungry. Instead of letting shit hit the fan, have you thought about how to handle your arguments in a more, well, civil manner? I know it's easy to say that you can handle any argument or that you never lose your cool, but it's actually pretty common for you or your significant other to do these five things.

1. Stop yelling.

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Even though you don't realize it, you're probably yelling at your boyfriend or girlfriend. That's understandable, things are getting heated and naturally as a human being you just raise your voice when you feel like you need to get your message across. Well, as loud as you may get, yelling isn't going to get your point across l. Take a step back, breathe, lower your tone and proceed to, calmly, speak. The both of you will notice an overall tonal change not only in your voices but the overall atmosphere of your argument. You'll both feel less inclined to feel like you're being scolded by the other person and be less on the defense and way more willing to hear the other one out.

2. Actually hear their side.

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A lot of the time arguments continue because the other person feels like they aren't being heard. Also, a lot of the time arguments happen because of miscommunication. Start front the beginning, ask them to tell them where their side started and how it got here. Maybe you both can find a common point in your sides that can help you break down the cause of your fight. Breaking things down can help the both of you better understand how you got to this place, it can even help you or them pinpoint the “flaws" in time of events. Basically, communication is key.

3. Don’t post about your fights.

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Look, I know how bad you want to post on insta or Twitter about how much of a f*ck boy or prissy b**** your s/o is being. Airing out your dirty laundry does not make you feel better. It just shows your immaturity and honestly will just make the situation way worse. Your argument is between you and your partner, Billy, Susan and the white knight trying to take your side do not need to add their input.

4. Do not use offensive language.

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Using offensive language makes things way worse. This is a given. The moment you start calling each other names is the moment all respect for you or them has gone out the window. It’s easy to get lost in the moment and you can and probably will say something or call them something you mean. Sure, but it doesn’t make it ok. Bringing your selves down to a level where all emotional caution is just thrown out the window just allows this behavior to continue in the future. This is obviously unhealthy for you and them, and it is also a form of verbal abuse. No one deserves to be degraded by name calling and feel like their respect and worth is being torn down.

So quit the name calling.

5. Step away and reconvene.

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If 1-4 didn’t work out and things just seem to be heating up even more, just stop. Take a hard stop from the conversation and get some space for a little bit. Sometimes taking a few minutes or hours from your argument is the best option. This gives you both time to take a breather and really reflect on what has been said and what you want to say next. Sometimes taking a break from the fight makes you realize that your fight is pretty pointless. When you’re stuck in the heat of the moment, everything seems so frustrating and crazy. Taking a step back can make you realize that fighting over a dirty dish really makes no sense.

Obviously, if your issues are larger than what has been depicted, you both should seek out help. Relationship counseling is a real service that is readily available. If you feel that you are no longer safe because of your argument or your relationship, please seek out help.

Below are links to relationship counseling and emergency hotline information in the case of an emergency.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
800-799-SAFE (7233)
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week
http://www.ndvh.org