Viral

Relationship expert reveals how to stop an argument in its tracks

Marriage Advice for Long-term Relationships

As we gear up for Christmas and all the family time that entails, many of us must steel ourselves for a steady stream of squabbles and disputes.

And yet, there is a way to get yourself a little more peace this yuletide, according to one relationship expert.

No, not by locking yourself in your room or asking Santa for noise-cancelling headphones, but by deploying one simple question.

Therapist Lauren Consul revealed her method in a TikTok which has now racked up more than 40,000 views and 4,500 likes.

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In it, she tells viewers that the next time they find themselves in an argument with their partner they should pause, then say: “I want to understand what happened there – what did you hear me say?’”

The qualified sex therapist stresses that this question is key because it achieves two objectives.

“First, it can allow for clarification. Because a lot of times when we become defensive, we’ve interpreted something our partner has said incorrectly,” she explains. “We’ve run it through our own filter, we’ve told ourselves a story about it, it’s triggered something... so we’re not actually hearing what our partner has said.

“The second thing, if your partner did interpret what you said correctly, it gives you the opportunity to slow things down and understand what is happening for them and address the underlying issue, rather than getting caught in a spiral of defensiveness.”

@laurenconsul

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Her insight divided opinion on the social media platform, with some commentators backing the approach while others insisted it didn’t work.

“My wife and I do it a little different [sic] by saying, ‘What I'm hearing you say is…’ to let the other person check our understanding,” one said, adding: “We argue rarely now.”

Meanwhile, another TikToker wrote bluntly: “Doesn't work. He argues it's not what I said and then it's just a new argument.”

A third shared a similarly negative experience, saying: “Did this and they went, ‘I don’t have an eidetic memory you can expect me to repeat back everything you said’.”

Others commented that they’d give it a go during their next heated row.

So now the question is, will you join them?

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