News and tips

How to solve an argument with your Housemates

We all have arguments from time to time, it is part and parcel of human life. We all need to get along together and there is more need when we all live together in a house. Here we are going to look at some skills and tips to save the day and bring the situation back towards harmony again.

Admit the problem

It is easy in the heat of the moment to get angry and the fur starts to fly. This is the moment to admit the problem and walk away to diffuse the situation. Try and get some clarity and perspective back by calming down. Analyse the situation, did you say or do something that maybe you should not have? Was your behaviour at fault as well as the other party?

Decide to resolve

Once you have a fresher perspective on the situation, it is time to decide to resolve it before it escalates into something you can no longer live with. Once you start to understand where things went wrong, you can often see the solution clearly.

Look at your own feelings

You need to work out how the argument affected you, was a bad name, or something said innocently, that you were affected by? Why did the word or action bother you? Was your reaction reasonable? Was there something else bothering you, that caused the situation to become heated, when it otherwise would not have? Once you have the answers to these questions the resolution will become more obvious.

Applying the solution

Hopefully the other party has gone through the steps above and also would like to resolve the argument. If so, then it is time to go ahead and organise to get together. Do meet face to face as words in text messages etc, can get misunderstood and this is not the time to be misunderstood. Try not to involve others as it can appear like you are ganging up on them. If the person has not done the washing up, for example, then maybe just one of you resolves the situation as opposed to the whole house, as they will be defensive and resist. Take turns to discuss your side of the conflict calmly, remember they are talking about their feelings, so put yours to one side while it is their turn.

Have Empathy

Being empathetic is a skill which you can develop and hone. Placing yourself in another person’s position to understand how they may have felt is important for human relationships. Remember empathy is a skill and so the other person may not be as skilled as you yet. Once both of you can see the other perspective on the original argument, the path towards solving it is free.

The apology

Sometimes it is obvious who has to do the apologizing, but this is rarer than you might think. More often it is both sides need to apologise to each other for their part in escalating the situation. Make sure your apology is sincere, again apologising sincerely is a skill.

An argument can mean progress

Once you have apologised, there needs to be a discussion regarding the future, and how you should both conduct yourself, should a similar situation arise. Be positive and assertive. Do not take the others apology to mean you were always in the right. Once you have had an argument and resolved it, the relationship will then move towards another level, as you now have a better understanding of the other person. So, do not avoid arguments if it is hurting you to do so. Remember it is human nature!