Whether it’s about the pile of unwashed dishes, or something more serious, like the lack of emotional intimacy you’ve been feeling for a long time, the universal truth is that couples who have been together for a while argue. And while we already know there are easy hacks we can use to fight fairly in our relationships, as psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and author of Attached, Amir Levine, tells Well+Good, one of the most common toxic issues she sees in relationships is the blame game.
If you just felt a wave of guilt wash over you, you're not alone, and truth be told, we all get into arguments with our nearest and dearest from time to time. Most of the time, when we argue, we’re usually trying to convey that our particular thoughts are justified, and well, correct. But Levine suggests that going into to battle to prove your point is ineffective, “when we find ourselves looking to point fingers or place blame we activate the most defensive parts of another person, and your message will not be heard.”
Levine also proposes switching gears, and approaching these heated conversations less aggressively, “what you want is for them to open up to you. But the more you attack your partner, the less you’re actually going to get from them—you may be right, but you’re not getting what you really need or want.” And as we’ve previously learned from psychologist Gemille Cribb, staying away from criticism and instead, addressing the actual problem and communicating how it makes you feel, is a more productive way to seek change.
For the full article, head to Well + Good.