How you treat your partner when you're in the middle of a disagreement can spell the difference between a thriving relationship and separation
One of the most important skills you can learn to keep your relationship healthy is to stay kind even when you’re upset with them. According to The Gottman Institute, how you handle conflicts can make or break your relationship.
But choosing kindness is easier said than done. We enter relationships with the best of intentions, thinking that when the going gets tough, we’d do the right thing and act with patience and gentleness. When reality hits and we end up lashing out instead, we’re left reeling after hurting our partners and ourselves.
Kindness is not something you choose only when you’re in the middle of an argument. You have to be mindful of how you treat your partner throughout your relationship. It is something you have to cultivate and work on continuously.
Here are some tips from The Gottman Institute and Tiny Buddha on being kind, even when you don’t feel like it.
1. Pay attention to your moods
If you feel like acting unkind, take your time to cool down and gain self-control before you act. You may think that it’s more honest and authentic to speak your mind and share everything with your partner, but you may inadvertently hurt them. Make a point to be open, but not careless.
On the next page: more on how to be kind even when you're upset.