How To Get Over An Argument (July 4th Special)

Happy Independence Day!

I’m really happy for America today. Given the nature of the day, I thought it would be appropriate to do a video on ‘how to get over an argument’ ; ).

We all go through arguments in relationships, and we don’t necessarily know how to repair things afterwards.

–How can we fix damage that’s been done?

We don’t do it by continuing the feud. We do it through better communication. 

There are two things going on in any argument: Rules and Standards.

  • Standards are the fundamentals for what you will and won’t accept in a relationship. In other words, the level of lovingness, generosity, care, nurturing and excitement that you hold someone to.
  • Rules are the surface level ways we determine whether someone is meeting our standards.
  • Examples:

    ‘I have a rule that someone has to get home by a certain time in order to show that they love me and spend time with me.’

    ‘I have a standard that the person I’m with has to adore me.’

    Standards are important at their core because they reveal intent and values.

    Rules are things that we ourselves make up. They are a meaning that we attribute to things. We’re not always right in the meaning that we attribute to things, and sometimes our rules are crazy and out of proportion, or just in the wrong context.

    If someone is breaking your rule, you have a decision to make:

    –Do I want to change this rule? Is it relevant in this particular moment?

    Many times you’ll decide that the rule is not as important as the relationship itself, and that you have a level of love and care and connection that allows you to get bigger than the rule and not make it so important.

    If someone fundamentally violates your standard, that’s a different story.

    Most people get angry, upset and emotional when their standards are violated, and they don’t know how to vent that, so they stop communicating and continue arguing.

    What we have to do is learn to communicate.

    The best way to do so is to start in a positive way.

    ‘I love you. I care for you. I want to be close to you.’

    Then lead into talking about your standard.

    ‘But right now, with what you’re doing – with the way you’re violating my standard – I can’t be close to you.’

    And finally lay down what he must do for the relationship to continue.

    ‘As much as I want it to, this can’t work unless you’re able to change this part of you.’

    Give someone the space to improve and surprise you.

    If they have the potential, give them the chance to reach that potential. Not forever – but enough of a chance to change.

    If they can’t reach that potential, we have to be brave enough to separate ourselves from them so that we can include more people in our lives who will.

    You’re either going to have someone who stays and who you keep around because they CAN meet your standards, or you’re going to lose someone who can’t meet your standards.

    You’ll either keep someone who’s right for you, or you’ll lose someone who’s wrong for you.

    Life really can be as simple as that, even if it’s painful at times.

    Question of the day: What’s one Rule that’s no longer be serving you? What’s the underlying standard behind it?

    Let me know in the comments!

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    94 Replies to “How To Get Over An Argument (July 4th Special)”

    1. I have a rule that he must reply to my emails, texts, or voicemails within 24 hrs. The standard behind it is that he must want to be connected with me. I’m working on the rule…it’s not a realistic rule early in a relationship and it can look like (feel like) neediness for attention. It feels better to be open and find joy in other ways.

      Anyone else struggle with that?

      1. Hi Susan, thanks so much for your comment : )

        I think this is something that a lot of people struggle with. In our society, we’re used to getting everything at top speed and this transfers into our relationships as well, which does two things. Firstly it applies too much pressure to the relationship and secondly, it fosters somewhat unrealistic expectations.

        It again comes down to communication. If someone tells you they’re busy and likely are not going to respond in the manner they typically do, then great, we know what to expect. If the person is just not getting back to you at all, then yes that’s an issue. But like you said, there are other ways to find enjoyment in your relationship and it shouldn’t come down to a time stamp on your text message.

        x

    2. Great advice as usual Matt which I think is not only relevant for romantic relationships but for every type of relationship.

      The bit at the end with the dog (much cuteness by the way) made me ‘lol’.

      I look forward to the next time that you appear in my inbox x

    3. Love your differentiation between rules and standards. But some people don’t know themselves that well.

      How can I help them make those differences? For me this situation applies a lot with my mum. She has these crazy rules that are very difficult for me to respect ALL the time and I can’t get her to see that they are not that meaningful and that I do love her, even if I left that dirty plate in the sink an hour longer.

      Simona

      PS: The dog part is hilarious. Is she yours? What’s her name? You can make her into a brand, or even better, a meme :))))))))))))))

    4. Hi matthew Great advice that your Everyone has Standards and rules. Rules on school rules at work rules at home home. And Everyone has standards and everyone make them in their own creative way that the way i see it ;)

      And i love the dog in the video very cute ;)

      Thanks Matthew for the great advice that your giving every weel over again but everything what are you saying comes out of your and heart and brains affcourse :P
      I really appreciate it and i can’t not wait the see your next post on your blog.

      Lovely Greetz A 15 year old Girl from the Netherlands
      Take care on yourself and have a lovely day :)

    5. LOL – love the dog at the end!! Is telling her not to become a “stuck up b—” a rule or a standard? :)

    6. Hi Matthew,
      The one rule that no longer serves me is that texts etc should be replied to within a certain timescale, as my initial belief was the quicker the response, the more the person is into you! I realise now that people have their own lives which can become hectic at times making it impossible to stick to consistently! Although since relaxing a rule or two I’ve been faced with another situation! My partner going to a strip club at the weekend! I thought I’d be fine with it but afterwards I felt a little hurt by it and I’m not sure how to communicate this to my partner without appearing pathetic! Hellllllp! Any advice would be greatly appreciated! X

      1. Hi Jenna, This can be a tough situation, especially if it’s not something you communicated your displeasure to in the beginning. If you honestly thought you’d be okay with it and told him that, then you can bring that up to him. Tell him that you were wrong about how you thought you’d feel and that it is either hurting you, turning you off etc. But the manner in which you do it needs to be calm, reassuring and positive. If you lay into him out of now where he’ll get his back up and not understand. As far as he knows, you’re still okay with it so you need to address that fact.

        x

        1. Matthew I get what you are saying regarding expressing how them going to strip bar etc etc is making you feel…but what happens when they then hit back with `But no ones elses girlfriend/wife has a problem with it… it is just innocent and I really do not want to be excluded from this and that just because you are being over sensitive“ ?? I find its all very well expressing how this and that they are doing makes you feel but what do you do when they hit back making out as though you are just being over sensitive or taking things too deep or far?? (even when they are really hurting you)??

      2. I tell my guy the same things about responding to my texts. We finally, well I finally sat him down face to face after getting nowhere for months telling him When i ignore someone or reply days later not even answering what. I texted, only thing I can think off…when I don’answer someone’s texts, it means I don’t care. He said he would answer in a timely manner if he is busy. That lasted a week! Wtf is wrong with men. I told him it is the ignoring part that bothers me. And can’t figure out when he finally gets back to me, never answers any question like I never wrote it. No matter if it is about the day or nothing related to feelings…Ugh!

    7. Another great video!! Loved the dog at the end. I recently had to cut someone out of my life that didn’t meet my standards….or maybe I didn’t meet his?? He wanted me to change and it wasn’t for the better. We were friend sfor a long time and lost touch. In the time we didn’t talk, I became a better version of myself. Apparently when we got back in touch, he missed the “old” me…the me that I didn’t want to be anymore. Trust me, the new me is so much better!! It sucked to cut a person out of my life that I have so much history with, but it really was the right thing to do.

      It nice to watch these videos and see where I’m doing things right. Also where I’m doing things wrong and can change my thinking or behavior. Thanks Matthew!!

      1. Hi Jen. This is such a great comment one I can relate to as well. Like I said, it’s not always easy and painless, but growing and becoming the best version of yourself rarely is either. I’m happy you’re able to stay strong in yourself and your core confidence! I’m also glad that you are able to look at where you still have room to grow and improve as we truly never stop learning. Take care! : )

        x

    8. Love u Mat;) God just send u to me and anytime I’m struggling see a video of you and feel ok!!!;) happy forth of July to u too!xxx

    9. Matthew,

      You never fail to completely brighten my day!! I LOVED this video. Do you have any advice on what to say to a guy after realizing several dates in that you don’t want to continue seeing him? I will usually say something like, “I enjoyed getting to know you better, but I am not interested in pursuing things any further.” Then the guy usually proceeds to ask, “Why?” Do guys really want to know?? How honest should I be? I would love for you to make a video about this! Thank you so much :D

      Claire

      1. that also happens to me a lot! I usually go on by saying that “I like you as a person but…” or “we can be friends!” and the nightmare is when I wanna answer the “why” question! “my life is complicated right now” seems to get old these days! I am really in need for some advice! sometimes I fail getting rid of people and convincing them takes so much of my time and energy! Help!

    10. Matthew! I never comment on videos usually, but this one literally made my morning–your bit at the was hilarious. Your humor and wit is EXACTLY what I’m looking for in a man–here’s hoping the next one can hold the flame. Happy 4th!

    11. I had a roommate that had too many rules but didn’t apply these rules to herself and so she treated others poorly (including me). She was terrible to be around because I felt like I was walking on eggshells, never knowing what would set her off. I treated her well like any normal roommate would but she could not appreciate that she had it good living with me.

      I think it’s important to have maybe one or two key rules in a relationship, like no cheating. I can see how having too many rules makes people uncomfortable. We all have standards and I expect to be with a man that values me and makes me a priority. Any behaviour that doesn’t indicate that means it’s time to move on

      1. Hi Paula,

        Thanks so much for your comment. There is a key difference between rules and standards, and we can see that clearly here. It’s also great to note that this applies to more than just relationships. All that aside, it’s important to undertand that your rules are based on your standards and that we need to then format our rules based on the relationships we’re in. As long as they still fall within your standards (ie. you’re still being valued, still a priority) then the rules can and should be communicated and talked about, and can be changed. Even in situation where both parties have the same standards, they may have different ways of showing it.

        x

    12. Matt,

      are you serious? You must know that you are ridiculously cute and now you add a little dog… seriously? you wanna torture me? :)

      I met someone really special and our feelings for each other were so strong but he couldn’t show it the way I wanted him to. I’m very affective and I want somebody who is the same way. I know that he liked me but whenever I tried to explain what I need he just couldn’t understand what I mean at all. We fought and It made me way to sad way to often. We both couldn’t get out of our skin. It’s still hard but it showed me how important it is to be with somebody who just feels the same about certain things. I don’t want to change anybody. Still I’m not sure if I could have let him go if he wouldn’t have moved away. I appreciate the experience and I still think he is amazing and he enriched my life and I’m grateful for it. I know now, that it’s never good to lower your standards, it’s not gonna get better later in the relationship, you have to communicate your standards early on. I will work on keeping my standards high and your videos always help.
      <3

      <3

    13. jajaja loved the dog ending! Thanks Matt! It is always very interesting to hear your guy points of view! You´re like an insider who helps us understand what´s going on in those guy heads.

      Cheers from Mexico!

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