How to Resolve a Fight with Someone You Love

A simple, effective process for emotional resolution

Anna Mercury


Photo by Afif Ramdhasuma on Unsplash

You know how it goes. You tell him why you’re so upset and he says, “I hear you,” but nothing in his actions demonstrates that you’ve been heard. If he really heard you, really understood what you were saying and feeling and needing right now, he wouldn’t be responding like this.

She says she’s listening. She sits there quietly while you speak, but the next words out of her mouth have nothing to do with anything you just said. She says she understands, but clearly she doesn’t, or how could that be her reply? It doesn’t make any sense.

They say it: “I’m listening. I hear you. I get it,” but it’s like what they’re hearing is something else entirely. You don’t feel “got.” You don’t feel felt. There’s communication, but there’s not a sense of true connection.

And so, whatever it is you were fighting about never feels quite done. The conversation you started in order to solve a problem just creates another one.

The reason for this is simple. When you don’t feel felt, don’t feel that the other person is hearing what you’re saying, that’s because they aren’t. They are, almost literally, hearing something else entirely.