6. Am I really listening to understand, or just to reply?
This issue happens in almost every verbal fight between partners who aren’t self-aware. Instead of listening to our partner’s complaint in order to understand their point of view, we just cherry-pick whatever they say to turn it against them in a devastating reply.
Congratulations, you are a master at debating. But you utterly fail at being a good partner.
At the end of the day, your partner is on the same side as you. They are not your opponent. They wouldn’t be your partner otherwise. Even if your opinions differ in this situation, the goal should be to come to a healthy middle ground, not to gain applause from an audience that judges your argument from the sidelines.
Listen to your partner. Try to understand what they are saying and why. Especially if your partner is very emotional. Emotions suppress logic. This means they will let their raw and true feelings shine through, whether they want to, or not.
If you address these feelings, you can make them feel understood. Often that’s all we want in such a verbal confrontation.