Posts tagged ‘the happiness project blog’

2009, August 14

Relationship “don’ts”

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written about relationships. I have no idea why I didn’t, I guess other things just felt more like worth mentioning and lots of posts rushed to publishing before this topic. But after thinking about the things I wanted to write down before I forgot them, a very nice post about relationships and arguments was born.

So here it is, a list of relationship and relationship argument “don’ts”.

  • Don’t base your relationship and attitude on silence. There’s nothing worse than keeping things bottled up for a later time to burst out. And they DO burst out at some point, so why not avoid that altogether?
  • Don’t bend the truth or hide behind lies. They’re like a time bomb waiting for the absolute worst moment to explode.
  • Don’t involve relatives, friends, neighbors into your relationship. They have no say in your life and won’t ever be able to understand it, because it’s something you and your loved one share. You’re the only 2 people who make it work.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions and don’t be selective about things.
  • Don’t judge something before talking it through with your partner. Don’t assume, ask to know all the facts before you make up your mind.
  • Don’t try to convince your loved one of anything, learn to understand him.
  • Don’t use past tense about your relationship. The present and future are the most important!
  • Don’t focus on insignificant things, try to resolve the big and more important issues.
  • Don’t let minor differences take over your arguments, focus on easing hurt feelings.
  • Don’t say “You are…”, replace them with “I feel like…”, “I think…”
  • Don’t let both of you get angry at the same time.
  • Don’t yell at each other unless the house is on fire, and even then it’s best not to freak each other out, be calm at all times.
  • Don’t criticize. But if you really need to, try sweetening it up.
  • Don’t forget, it takes two to cause an argument.
  • Don’t neglect each other.
  • Don’t go to bed without resolving your conflict.
  • Don’t be cocky and if you were wrong, admit it and say “Sorry”
  • Don’t forget to talk about other things than having to pay the bills, buying milk, etc. Even one nice word can go a long way! (But do use more than one nice word)

There you go :) This is just one string of thoughts of course, there are many more “don’ts”. But keeping mind even on these will make your relationship all the more functional.

Also, I found this great post on the Happiness Project blog that teaches/helps us to fight right. From Gretchen Rubin’s list some of the phrases I use(d) and will try using more are:

Wait, can I take that back?
I see you’re in a tough position.
I could be wrong.
Let’s take a break for a few minutes. [If you can remember to do this, it’s extremely effective – especially if you’re having a big fight. After a break, it’s almost impossible to go back to yelling.]
That came out all wrong.

Do you make sure you keep these “don’ts” and “fight right” helping phrases in mind at all times?

Later update: You can also find my post about “Relationship don’ts” right here on

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