Let’s be honest here: people don’t respectfully disagree anymore. In a matter of seconds, without even knowing why or how it came down to it, everyone is yelling and things have gotten out of control. This way, no one gets what they wanted in the first place and all you get as an end result is lost hair because of the stress that person inflicted on you. The arguments that probably get out of control easily are the ones we have with someone we love. When you argue with your partner and you start throwing stuff around or yelling at one another, it simply doesn’t seem like something productive could come out of it. So listen to me! Let’s calm down and never let an argument get out of control again.

1. Breathe!

Stop for a minute and breathe. Your heart is pounding like crazy because you have all of those things you want to say and you need to calm it down. Calm down your mind. Take a step back and breathe. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold it for 4 seconds and then release it for 4 seconds. Do this breathing technique as many times as needed until you feel fine and can continue the conversation calmly. You will be fine. Unless you can feel your heart being totally relaxed and that you can think straight again, keep on breathing.

2. Listen

After you’ve calmed down, instead of yelling out all those things you disagree about, take a moment and listen carefully. Maybe there really are some things you agree on in this argument. Maybe your partner really is right about something they say and you are the one who needs to apologize but how would you know that unless you listen? Be open-minded and let them talk. You might see another point of view where it really is better to let go of your beliefs.

3. Now talk

After you have successfully given your partner all the time they need to tell you everything that upset them, talk. Tell them everything that made you angry and that doesn’t allow you to continue your relationship unless it’s talked through and until you find a solution. But remember, you are not allowed to insult one another. If you start calling out each other’s bullshit and you add insults to that, there is no end to it and you will grow apart instantly.

4. Realize what’s going on

Stop for a minute and analyze the situation. Is your partner giving you the space needed to talk? Is your partner fully able to understand your perspective? Even if not, are they at least trying? If you see that your calm voice and your attitude don’t calm them down, move away. Give it some time. Tell your partner that you both need to calm down and that it would be better if you spoke about it afterward. Sometimes it’s not even a bad thing to go to sleep and wake up in the morning refreshed and ready to analyze the situation from a rational perspective. If your partner refuses to let you go at this point, tell them that you need some time to think and just walk away. You are not a coward for doing so but rather someone who knows their limits.

5. Find what works best for the both of you

We’ve all heard the holy term: compromise! It lets you find something that is OK for the both of you and allows you to continue your relationship, remembering that it’s been saved by your group efforts. If you do it only to please yourself, your relationship will never work out, no matter how hard you try to make it work afterward. Sit down, take out a pen and some paper if needed, and write it all down. It’s not a bad thing if you want your relationship to work out while you’re trying to get what you deserve.