Thursday, September 22, 2011

LDR Argument 101

How to handle long distance arguments?

It’s going to happen eventually if you haven’t had an argument already. Having an argument long distance is not easy. There are certain things you should and should not do in an argument.

1. Don’t hang up the phone.  As tempting as it might be, this is the worst thing you could possibly do. It is disrespectful and in my opinion no one deserves it. Try to stick it out. Make a promise to each other that you will not hang up the phone.

2. Don’t interrupt. Take turns explaining your points, and hear the other person

3.  Actually listen to what they are saying and don’t think about why they are wrong or prepare how you are going to argue what they are saying, just listen. Don’t dismiss their points even if you think they are downright wrong. Show them some respect, if you want respect in return.

4.  Tell them how you feel not what they did. Say how they made you feel. For example, “I feel like I’m low priority in your busy life.” Instead of, “You make hanging out with me a lower priority than hanging out with your friends.” The difference? Using the second sentence is going to make them feel defensive and they are only going to argue with you. Telling them how it makes you feel will be a lot more effective.

5.  Try to find a compromise. Agree on something you’re both comfortable with even if it means not getting exactly what either of you want. It’s better than not getting what you want at all.

6. Don’t use the cold shoulder technique. This is just as bad as hanging up. Giving someone the cold shoulder (aka. not speaking to them) is only going to make things worse. You’re not going to get any happier, and they aren’t either.  And it’s not going to make them come crawling to you for forgiveness and give you what you want (the usual motive, whether the person doing the ignoring will admit to that or not). Just don’t do it.

7.  Don’t put off conflict. Handle the issue ASAP. Get it over and done with. The longer it lingers, the longer it will be affecting your relationship in a negative way.

8. Don’t create an argument. Sometimes people will get frustrated with the distance and make a big deal about something small that probably wouldn't usually bother them. Avoid creating an argument in the first place and you’ll save yourself a lot trouble. If you are frustrated with the distance, talk about it with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Venting about what you’re really upset with is better than getting into a heated argument about something unrelated.

9. Avoid having an argument online. If you start to argue, it is better to talk it out, instead of instant messaging. The last thing you need is to be misinterpreted.

*** thanks to Michelle and Frank for these helpful tips! Visit their website at for more details


Joshua Sterrett said...

I don't entirely agree with everything. Having an hour long argument on the phone is not going to help anyone, and both will regret it the following month when the bill comes in. *talk about an expensive argument*
I'm not so sure hanging up ...not rudely but like..saying lets talk about this a little later isn't so bad. When people get heated and emotional they tend not to think rationally and say things they regret that they probably don't really mean which could damage the relationship MUCH more than if they took some time to cool off before coming back later in a calmer tone.
Also, by arguing over the phone you can not see body language...I think the best way would be over a video conferance call.
Finally, I think it's GOOD to write things down..say in an email. So if you need to cool down, writing out your thoughts is a great way to SEE what you are thinking or wanting to say. When you actually see what you want to say you can view it from a second perspective rather than coming straight from your lips.

All of the other points, especially point 4 is REALLY on the mark. Don't give reasons to make the person feel defensive. Using language that avoids conflict but encourages communication is best. By keeping the conversation towards feelings and not using language that points fingers or is accusatory is the ideal way to alleviate a conflict and eventually move past it.

Karlene Sebastian said...

Well said. Talking about your own personal experience? lol I agree to all the points, well i used to do some of the stuffs so I can relate. Maybe there's a certain degree... plus it depends on the situation.

All I can say is... IM GUILTY. So now, I know what to do. Though your points are still valid...