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)”

    • Hi Matt,
      I’ll be attending your secrets of attraction event this Saturday…excited!

      Since I’ve increased my standards inwardly it’s had great effects outwardly. I’m alot more in tune with what I want and expect from a person which has also made me recognise how I can improve myself too.

      Love your videos looking forward to seeing you xx

    • good post. I’m tryin to figure out how I can apply this to my current fight with my mom. the same old thing- we just see things completely opposite.

    • Hun…I’m so confused by your question :( I even read it out loud and it still doesn’t make sense. I do think every relationship is different and therefore your communication is different as well. It’s very important to figure out early how to communicate in each relationship. I hope that makes sense because it does in my head. BTW the dog will definitely get you more views ;)

    • hey Matt,
      so nice to see a video from you again. there wasnt one in quite a while and I was really starting to miss you. very cute dog :-) and what do we learn from this? one can never be too cute :-) When everybody already likes you, bring on some more likeable stuff. I love that!
      xx Aylin

    • You always hit the nail in the head!! I’ve been spending DAYS, literally trying to figure out how I’m going to have this conversation with this person who’s violating my standards and this is perfect!! The most perfect way of saying it!! Thank you!!! xoxoxo I want to see you wear your red, white and blue today!! ;)

    • The real hero is not what we see in the movies. the real hero who faces his self and know the disadvantages and advantages that he has. The real hero who did not hide but expresses moments of strengths and weaknesses.And always who try to become not only the best but extends his hands in order to help everyone in life

      thank you HERO

    • Matt,

      That is a great advice Matt. But too late me and my ex boyfriens already broke up a month ago after two weeks he made his bestfriend as his girlfriend. We were in a long distance relationship and I am in Asia. We broke up because of trust issue. He lied to me before that is why its very hard to gain back the trust I had for him. We have different dating culture and I am always jealous of his bestfriend because they had mutual feeling to each other before me and besides they were in ”friends with benefits” relationship before. I amk being vocal to him what I don’t like I told him I feel a bit jealous when I see his pictures (sweet pictures ) with his bestfriend he didn’t hide it. And last February I ask him about us if what is our stand he keep telling me that he loves me and when I ask about being official he told me that he just want ”discreet”. I feel bad, all my jealousy starts there. I was thinking maybe he wants to be discreet because he still enjoying the benefits to his bestfriend. We broke up last May 23,2013 and last May 30 I sent him roses through online because it was his birthday last May 27. I didn’t contact him after he broke up with me he keep sending long emails telling how much he loved and cared for me. So we were together again from May 28 – May 30 i think or June 1. Then we broke up again. We always fought because he is giving me reasons to be jealous. He is not sensitive about my feelings. My mistake is that I am too vocal and I hurt him with my words. I made him feel jealous about my other guy friend. Then we stop contacting each other. After two weeks I check the facebook of his bestfriend and they were in a relationship since June 2, 2013. I was crying so hard while I am having class with my student. I just can’t help to cry I feel cheated. Because at that time until June 15,2013 he keep calling me and trying to win me back and telling me shit sweet words! :(

      It’s too late we both hate each other now. But I am trying to let go of my anger and resentment and just take it as a lesson. But he is still mad at me ( super mad ) I told him to stop blaming me because we both have mistakes and that we just need to let go of our anger and hatred.

    • Standard… Bring me cheesecake and tell me I’m pretty.
      Rule… STFU when Walking Dead is on

      Why am I still single?! lol

    • WOW….thanks Matt…Absolutely LOVED this piece!!!!
      Great bit of advice for every type of relationship. You’ve just helped to connect another piece of my puzzle for me….aahhhhaaaaaa!! ;D

      BTW…. thanks for ALL that you share with everyone. I think you are fabulous. Congratulations on all of your successes. That’s Karma for you… you put out all that good ~~~} and in return, get it back {~~~

      with much Gratitude

      Yvonne ;*

    • OMG!!! can i get u both? ^_^ so cute the last part of the video with the cute dog!!!
      i agree with u matty! sometimes people dont understand why im still single…sometimes i forget why…but with this video…i remember why!
      i have standards and i prefer being single/ alone rather than being with someone who doesnt meet to my standards and with my ideals. Its hard, and some people prefer being with someone “in the mean time” rather than single…
      i dont think like that…it must respect and adore me, and meet my ideals! is it too much?
      Thank you Matty!!!for everything, you always light up my day!
      Thank u

    • Thanks Matt! This is timely for me as a friend & I had a confrontation . I saw how her rule/standard was violated and I’ve shown I’ll respect it now that it’s clearer to me what she needs. Thing is, she’s still being snide/stonewalling/carries out subtle behaviours that shows she’s still pissed about something, even though I did my best to have a reasonable discussion. Now her behaviour is starting to upset me becauseiit’s violating the level of respect, honesty and peace I want and need in friendships and relationships. Ugh.
      Also helps me as I heal from a broken heart over a bloke who essentially wasn’t meeting my standards for love, commitment and communication.
      Looooved your cheek about the Tea, and of course the B*tch

    • I really appreciated this video. Everything you said is short sweet and to the point, but overall it is so true!! This video was much needed and I loved it. Communication is key. Also the part about either you keep someone or you lose someone who you don’t need to begin with is something I think everyone already knows but still needs to hear. Very well done. Could not have been better.

    • OMG!! I LOVED the last part of this Video so CUTE :* :) ^_^ can I have both of you.. What can I say all you mention is true Why am still single? Only God know :)

      take care matt, I love you already :) :))))

    • I love the information that you give us to help with getting and keeping him. It has actually helped me with a guy that I really like! BTW loved the little doggie at the end…that was so cute how you snuck him in.

    • Today allow me to not talk about your video content. Today I’m gonna say something that really disgusts me, but I dont want to create national controversies, just make people aware of our world.

      The thing is, that there are many people following you from many countries, but you haven’t greet any of us for our Independence day. So why say “Happy Independence Day!”, like it were a global holiday (Christmas, Mother’s day, etc).

      And also, calling the United States of America as “America”. America is composed by North, Central and South America. America is a continent not a country. It’s like thinking that the UK, Great Britain nd England are synonyms!!

      Please, dont do that again. The change begin in us :)

      1. Hi Lo,

        While in general you make the sort of comment I’d be likely to make myself I think in this case it is a bit misdirected. Matthew is clearly in the US and addressing American independence day – and as a Brit (who ‘lost the fight’ as he mentions, and whose country is not that aware of this holiday) he clearly does not understand this as a global holiday (which by the way Christmas and Mother’s Day – while not national holidays like the US 4th of July are not global either, Mother’s Day, for example, is celebrated on at least two different days).

        On the terminology – I gather you are Latin American and there’s a difference between the terminology in English and Spanish. In Spanish America is a continent and North American means from the United States. In English America is not a continent (North America and South America are considered two distinct continents, people sometimes refer to the ‘Americas’ and Central America and the Caribbean are often considered a region) but is often used as short hand for the United States (not in Canada where I’m from, but in the US, UK and Australia this is common). And North American refers to someone from either the United States or Canada. I’m Canadian, and we are North American, for example, but not American.

        I think sometimes it can get confusing when translating from one language to another – in different languages the number of continents on earth isn’t even the same! And, what seem to be the same terms mean sometimes altogether different things.

        1. Hi Kaye,

          My intention is not to argue, just make people aware, but I’m going to answer because I think there is a misunderstanding. I absolutely know that Christmas, mother’s day, valentine’s day, and so .. are not celebrated in all the countries or even on the same dates, but I just wanted to make an easy-to-understand example.

          Regarding my comment, this issue is way not a transaltion issue. If you didnt understand the reasons I said before, there’s noththing else I can do. But let me tell you that one time I was talking to a US diplomat about this, and as he understood the problem, he told me “OK, but then .. how are we going to be called?” So, I believe, this is not about translation, is about a wrong use of a word, and beign aware of it.

    • Matt, great life lesson. But what do you do when communication fails? And the other person stays stuck in the argument and plays victim to your attempts to communicate in a spirit of openness? Walk away? I am talking here about a relationship with a godparent, not a romantic connection…

    • Haha, i love when you get funny in your Videos :D
      Should have taken a cat though, they rule the Internet…

    • Hi Matthew,

      Thanks again for another great blog with excellent dating advice. This particular subject reminds me of something I learned several yrs ago when learning to communicate with my (now ex) husband who suffered with addictions.

      Whenever there is an argument, think of the conversation like a fire with billowing smoke. The fire would be relative to the REAL ISSUE at hand (the standards) and the smoke would be relative to SURFACE ISSUES (the rules). Unless the fire is taken care of, (real issues addressed) the smoke will never stop. Hence when we find ourselves in an argument with our loved one, pause, take it a step back and think about what the real issue is at hand and proceed with love.

      Thanks for your always on point blogs that seem to magically pop in my inbox at just the right moment I need a good reminder. You really are the best!

      Sincerely, Kari

      PS. Watched all of Ready for Love online and you killed it! Hope to see your handsome mug on TV more real soon. ;)

      1. So true, Kari. I’ve got fire and smoke in my relationship & I guess I need ice because water is just not enough.

        *Le sigh.

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