3 Quick Ways To Fix An Argument (iHeartRadio)

Today we’re talking about how to fix an argument. Here are 3 simple ways to mend the damage – or pre-empt an argument before it even happens.


Hi everyone,

You’re listening to LOVELife with Matthew Hussey. Today we’re talking about the 3 things you have to always remember when having an argument.

This actually, I have to say, is really close to my heart as a subject because, firstly, from personal experience, I know that there are so many times in my life where I have had an argument with someone and just wished afterwards I knew how to deal with that better.

Either because somewhere in the argument I got annihilated, or somewhere in the argument I end up really hurting someone else. And I think the really sad and tragic part about arguments is it’s the people we actually care about the most that we end up hurting the most and doing damage to. And sometimes that damage lasts a very long time and is extremely difficult to reverse.

It’s amazing how tough it can be to reverse something you said in a heated moment, that took two second to say, and now you live with the consequences of that in your relationship. Especially after everything’s all good again and the argument has passed.

So I have a couple of tips here I want to give you. And by the way, if you have a pen and paper – if you have a pen and paper anywhere in this show – write stuff down. As cliched and cheesy as it sounds, a dull pencil is better than a sharp mind. If you can write it down, you’re going to remember this stuff.

So the first one is…

Diffuse The Situation Quickly

Now there’s an idea in arguments that you need to take time. You need to take time away, you need to walk away, and go into a different room. Or you need to leave for a day or two and come back to revisit the argument.

Now I think in some cases that allows people to not vent in an extremely hyper-sensitive way, and for that reason it can be the lesser of two evils.

I do however think if it’s at all possible for you to do so, diffuse it now.

That should always be your motto. How do I diffuse this now? Instead of walking away from the situation.

Of course, when you walk away, people’s imaginations run wild. That’s when people start wondering, what’s he thinking? What’s she thinking? What are they doing right now? Is it getting worse?

They start thinking of all the other ways they’re angry at you.

Diffusing it quickly, diffusing it now, allows you to move past the situation.

Let me give you an example of this:

I think a very common thing that happens with couples is they’re walking down the street and someone gets kind of offended because they catch their partner looking at someone else for too long.

You know, they see their partner’s wandering eye and they feel offended by that. Now of course, what happens in this situation? Well, firstly, they don’t speak up. So now they go the whole day being irritable because they remember that moment and say, in their mind, ‘I can’t believe they did that in front of me. That was so offensive. I can’t believe they’re looking at other people.’

You feel jealous, you feel hurt, but you don’t say anything. That person senses that you’re cold, and says, ‘why are you being cold?’ And of course you in your prideful state say, ‘I’m not being cold. There’s nothing wrong. I’m not being cold.’

And they’ve sensed that you’re being cold anyway, so now they feel shut out from you, so what do they do? They get cold. They begin to shut down. So now you’re both not enjoying your day because you’re both shut down because of this tiny little issue, and you’re not talking about it.

You get to the end of the day, and finally, you’re so angry about the situation, especially because you haven’t voiced it, and you’ve thought of all these other arguments in your head that make it valid, and now you voice the argument. You say, ‘let me tell you what really annoyed me today.’ And you start talking about that thing.

Now, here’s where you make the second mistake. The second mistake is…

The Urge To Pile On

So instead of focusing on the one issue that’s actually at hand, i.e. that person glanced at someone else for a second more than you were comfortable with, you now pile it on. So you say, ‘and you know, it’s just like that time 4 weeks ago where you stood there talking to that person for 20 minutes even though I was there with you. And I can’t believe you did that. You know, and you have all these ‘friends’ that you say are just friends, but they’re really hitting on you, and…’, and so you pile everything on because you want to legitimise your argument.

But true credibility doesn’t come from piling on all the evidence possible. True credibility comes from sticking with the original thing that bothered you and exploring that – rather than piling on everything you can.

So that’s the second mistake people make. The first one – taking too long, so instead, diffuse it now. Second one – piling on all the evidence you can. Instead, deal with the issue.

The third one is perhaps the most nasty of them all.

This is when in your angered, prideful state, where you feel hurt and you feel like you’re stubborn and don’t want to give in, and you also feel pain, so now your instinct is to inflict pain, now you go into cut mode.

Cut Mode

Now you don’t just want to argue that you’re right, you want to find a way to cut the other person.

And this gets really nasty. So here in the argument I’ve given, in the example, here’s what someone might do: “by the way, you don’t think I could do the exact same thing? If I wanted to, you don’t think I could look at someone else? You think people aren’t looking at me all the time? Just the other day someone hit on me.” And you might tell a story that’s kind of nasty to tell, because you want to feel important again. But what you’re really doing is trying to cut someone else.

If I can cut them, and show – by the way, what’s the reason we want to cut someone? – we want to cut someone because we want to see if it affects them. Because if it affects them we’ll feel important again. ‘Ah, I know I can hurt them now. Thank God, I feel worthy.’ Which is a twisted way of thinking about it, but it’s true and it happens a lot.

The problem is, when you cut someone, at that point it becomes something that’s hard to reverse.

Resist the urge to hurt the other person. Deal with the issue at hand.

So those are the three things…

– Diffuse quickly
– Resist the urge to pile on
– Resist the urge to be cutting with your words and hurt the other person

Now, I’m going to finish on this: It’s not noble once you’ve hurt someone and made them cry, and really done them damage – it’s not noble at that point to go, ‘Oh my God I feel bad now’, and then go and apologise, ‘I’m so sorry I didn’t mean all of that to you.’ Because at that point the damage is done.

Let me tell you what’s really brave and noble.

At the point where you’re hurting, at the point where you’re feeling stubborn, at the point where your pride is damaged – to try and diffuse it, and deal with it right then. It’s the hardest moment to do it, but if you can do it, you’re the bravest person in the relationship.

So that’s it for today. Take care my friends. Share this please. It’s so important to relationships. Relationships are killed everyday, or irreversibly damaged every day, which could otherwise be beautiful connections between people.

So share this with the people you care about so that they can do the same thing.

Twitter or Facebook. And let us know what you think #LOVELife.

I’ll see you soon guys.

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12 Replies to “3 Quick Ways To Fix An Argument (iHeartRadio)”

  • Hi Mr. Hussey,
    Would you please consider having a seminar/tour event in Florida: either in Gainesville, Orlando, Jacksonville or Saint Augustine. I think it would be a great turn out, and I could offer to spread the word. Thanks for your time!

  • Maybe this problem is too uncommon for you to address.

    I am a woman and I like to chase. If it is easy for me to get a guy and he follows me around like a hungry dog, I am bored and often physically repulsed by him.

    If I flirt with a guy and he is unimpressed, he’s the guy I want and I can make myself crazy over it. I want someone who can challenge me. I am deeply appreciative of a man who can be a gentleman, but not someone who fawns and mopes.

    Instead, I just end up chasing anyone who says no. ‘No’ is my version of a supermodel masseuse with a PHD.

    I’m doing something terrible wrong. Do I need to approach the ‘no’ guys differently? Get psychiatric help for my ‘man brain’? Stop trying to date because mutants like me shouldn’t breed? Stop tormenting people on their blogs posts with self deprecating comments about being a mutant?

    I’m really good at attracting guys who want to idolise me and grovel at the foot of my pedestal, but terrible with guys who see me as an actual person.

  • Matthew,

    Is it diffuse or defuse ?

    I think you mean DEFUSE.

    How to defuse violence ? remains one the the BIG QUESTIONS !

    Bravo Matt, all this makes a lot of sense !

  • Hi, Matthew!!

    Big fan and great tips! I especially liked how they can even be applied to interactions with our relatives in addition to those with our significant others.

    Anyways, you mentioned that writing things down helps us retain them so I came up w/a short list based on your tips that might help those who watch this later on. (I owe a lot of my As in college to lists and other acronyms I’d make :).)

    Your 4 Ds (there’s a 4th one hidden in the last few secs): Defuse, Deal w/1 thing, Deal w/it quickly, and Don’t cut.

    Hope that works for others and thanks again!! (Commenting helps us learn ’em too right? Ha.)

  • Hi Matthew,
    Immensely touched by this one. It’s befitting for both sexes and every relationship regardless it’s romantic or not.
    It’s impressive to see a guy’s emotional perception about common things and feelings.

  • Hi Matthew,
    I like to watch your videos and listen to your advice. they are really insightful. And I found this particular video is very helpful for me to understand argument in a relationship. I have recently had a few arguments with my boyfriend. I wish I had watched your video earlier so I don’t have to struggle to fix my relationship right now. The aftermath had really put me into a difficult position. My question is if unfortunately I had let myself got into the stage 3 and may had said something hurtful which i regret very much. How can I fix it? I hope you could shed some light on this.
    thank you

  • Thank You very much for these helpful topics. Actually it was funny…, coz while watching these on YOUTUBE. I had already pen and notes from writing some memo from earlier video played.

    Now,here is my concern, what about if i did the 1st one but He put the 2nd on me.(thats mostly his doing and annoyed me)

    Instead he ignored and didnt cooperate even i am already begging to help me loose my anger. ( which was ur topic head on)

    Instead i shut down our communication. Leave a notes of how i feel about that moment and send it to him and repeat sending it when his trying to communicate afterdays.

    Am i giving him the right signal????
    That i want him to analyze his behavior. And that his consequence for not scared of loosing me.

    Thank You very much.

    The Power of Gravity is really Amazing.

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