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12 Helpful Techniques for Post Argument Anxiety

It is normal for partners to have an argument here or there. But if you frequently have arguments or get post argument anxiety, you may need some tips for resolving your problems. If you get anxious after an argument, follow along for some of my best tips.

Post Argument Anxiety Do’s 

Part of curing post argument anxiety is talking about your feelings and correctly communicating them to your partner.

1. Slow Down 

When you feel anxious, you can often trigger a “fight or flight” response during an argument. This may translate into yelling and screaming or shutting down and refusing to communicate. Take a deep breath and remove yourself from the situation for a few minutes to catch your breath and collect your thoughts. You cannot begin to heal together if you both are worked up.

2. Identify How You Feel 

While you’ve identified how you feel anxious, reconsider what originally caused the argument and how that made you feel. Think about how your partner’s actions and words impacted you. Are you angry with their behavior? Are you sad that they said something hurtful? Are you scared for your future together? By identifying your feelings, you will be able to better communicate with your partner when you are both willing to reconnect. 

3. Consider Your Relationship Beyond The Fight

There are two questions you should ask yourself- is this an argument due to a singular problem or are there underlying issues? Constantly asking for help around the house may not just be about housework but not feeling helped. If you’re arguing about the kid, maybe you have different parenting styles or are not on the same page about your roles as parents. When you’re cooling off consider if this argument is situation specific or a pattern that has larger problems you need to work through. 

The second question you should ask is how did something that was supposed to be a conversation become an argument. Did they trigger your anxiety? Are you both not meeting your physical and mental needs such as sleep, diet, and exercise? Was it because one or both of you were under the influence? Is it because you’re not expressing yourself more regularly? You and your partner should be able to have disagreements without them always turning into arguments. By identifying these factors that cause your disagreements to escalate, you and your partner can avoid these triggers and change your patterns of behavior. 

4. Own Up

In the heat of the moment, you may have said something you do not mean. You may have intentionally or unintentionally crossed a line while you and your partner were arguing. Think through the argument after you’ve cooled down and consider if you may have said something that was too far. You aren’t perfect and neither is your partner- recognize that, apologize for your mistakes, and forgive in order to alleviate your post argument anxiety.  

Couples who often argue may want to consider seeking couple's counseling.

5. Turn For Support 

While you or your partner cool off, you may need some time to distance whether this be a few hours or a couple days. Reach out to people who care about you. I would not say that ranting about the fight will alleviate your post argument anxiety (it just brings up those feelings again), but you can use some support and love from friends and family. 

6. Distract Yourself 

While friends and family are supportive, they are also a great distraction from your post argument anxiety. By finding positive coping mechanisms, you can be productive and maintain healthy boundaries while you’re waiting to reconnect. Reading a book, doing some needed chores, painting, or listening to music can help distract you but also calm you down. Sometimes it’s hard to collect your thoughts when you’re still upset, so figure out what works for you and find some calming distractions to help reduce your anxiety

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7. Reconnect with your partner 

Some fights are very minor and some fights are rather serious. The timeline is different depending on how serious it is. For serious arguments, I would say to at least state your feelings within the first couple of days. For less serious arguments, reconnect within 24 hours. This can be tricky for some people as they do not want to spark another argument. However, both you and your partner should be not just speaking but actively listening. By listening, you can begin to understand where they are coming from and vice versa. From here, you can begin to set boundaries and try to learn from the disagreement. 

Forgiveness does not come easily sometimes, but it’s necessary to ease your post argument anxiety. It’s perfectly normal to be anxious after a fight and be anxious to reconnect with your partner, but don’t let it get in the way of your relationship. If you can’t find a way to reconnect and forgive, you may find that couple’s counseling is a great option for you. You and your partner can learn to communicate as individuals and improve your connection. 

Forgiving your partner and moving on is the only way to completely get rid of post argument anxiety.

8. Apologize 

It’s not about winning an argument, it’s about acknowledging how both of your actions affect each other. By taking responsibility for your own wrongdoings in the argument, your partner may be more willing to apologize in return as well. Your relationship is not a competition, you’re doing this together. Apologize for both your wrongdoings so that you can both accept them and move forward. 

Post Argument Anxiety Don’ts 

9. Don’t be Impulsive

Like I said earlier, in the heat of the moment we say things we do not mean. Do not make ultimatums, demands, or threats because you haven’t taken the time to calm down. Do not overwhelm your partner to talk to you right away. Both of you need some time cool down before reconnecting. 

10. Don’t Let it Go 

Don’t wake up and pretend the argument never happened. I know if you’re having post argument anxiety it may be easier to pretend it never happened and move on. But you had the argument for a reason and this is an opportunity for the both of you to fix something you do not enjoy about your relationship. 

The silent treatment or ignoring the problem is the worst thing you can do for post argument anxiety.

11. Stop Punishing Your Partner 

When you don’t choose to forgive your partner, you may continue to punish them for how they made you feel. You may change your actions or stop doing favors for them. You know how to communicate, but being passive aggressive will only make matters worse between you both. 

12. No Silent Treatment

The silent treatment can occur because of post argument anxiety or to be malicious. Especially if you have children or other people living with you in your home, they will take notice and it will cause them to be anxious as well. Communicating your feelings is key. Forgiveness does not happen overnight, but you should both be open to actively working through your issues instead of shutting down. Having some space to cool off is healthy- the silent treatment is not. 

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