How to end a fight in five seconds

A welcome lesson in conflict resolution.

When you’re living in close quarters, it’s easy for fights to begin. Whether it’s over washing up duties, who’s turn it is to take the rubbish out or just the odd snarky remark – it’s easy for things to get blown out of proportion.

But the next time you feel an argument brewing, there’s on piece of advice you should take into account.

Researchers from the University of Waterloo, suggest taking a second to ask yourself one question: Will I care about this in a year?

Pausing to gain some perspective means some pointless arguments can be avoided, and according to the study, it also made partners more likely to forgive their spouses afterwards.

“When romantic partners argue over things like finances, jealousy, or other interpersonal issues, they tend to employ their current feelings as fuel for a heated argument. By envisioning their relationship in the future, people can shift the focus away from their current feelings and mitigate conflicts,” said Alex Huynh, a doctoral candidate in psychology and lead author of the study.

You can view the study here.

Related stories

Get your favourite magazines home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.