3 Underrated Skills to Help Reduce Relationship Arguments

How many do you have?

Jennifer Haubrich


Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

It might be nice if we all knew how to get along and maintain our relationships through instinct. Many other animals on the planet seem to survive purely by instinct. Whales, eels, sea turtles, penguins, and other birds can travel thousands of miles and back with no help. Meanwhile, we humans need a GPS to travel to a new city.

And we learn how to get along with others through a lot of trial and error.

While I have sometimes found in life that our human instincts are helpful, when it comes to my relationship, just as importantly, there are other times when my instincts point me in precisely the wrong direction.

Like if I go with my gut, things get messy.

I speak without thinking. I pass judgment too quickly. I make a mountain out of a molehill (and that will be my last animal reference).

Fortunately, if we pay attention, we can learn from our mistakes and think before following our instincts in certain situations. We can develop alternative techniques and approaches.

Here are three skills worth developing to replace common instincts. These skills serve us much better because they help us avoid unnecessary conflict in our relationship. (Because who wants more of that?)

1) Know when to bite your tongue

There are times to talk, and there are times to be quiet. There are times to give advice, and there are (more often) times to listen.

And there are probably far fewer times to criticize than we are inclined to believe.

So how do you know when to bite your tongue?

It isn’t always obvious, but there are some ways to make knowing when to do it easier.

The first thing I do is check in with myself. Is something else bothering me? Am I tired? Hungry? Stressed out or running late? Is there even the slightest chance I’m missing a pertinent piece of information?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then I keep my comment to myself.

I’ve found that it’s rare that we look back on situations where we wish we had



Jennifer Haubrich

It's all about relationships, with ourselves, others, and the world. Trying to live a better life. Sometimes funny.