how to end an argument without apologizing
How to end an argument without apologizing is an art form by itself. I like getting my teeth into a good argument but dislike dragging it out. I’d rather end an argument quickly and move on. But what is the best way to end an argument? Can you end an argument politely while still firmly standing your ground? Are there phrases to end an argument that make you look smart but don’t make you sound rude?
A healthy argument can clear the air and improve a romantic relationship. On the other hand, if things get too heated and you end up fighting dirty, you could say hurtful things and both you and your partner could be sulking for days. Maybe you’re convinced you’re right but you don’t want to keep arguing, and neither do you want to back down.
With so many questions on our minds, we decided to turn to an expert for help. Relationship and intimacy coach Shivanya Yogmayaa (internationally certified in the therapeutic modalities of EFT, NLP, CBT, and REBT), who specializes in different forms of couples counseling, gave us insight into how to end an argument without apologizing.
What Can You Say When You Want to End An Argument Without Arguing
Certain tried-and-true statements can come to your aid when you’ve had enough of an argument but you don’t want to apologize. We’re not saying they work every time, but they’re pretty good when you want to mitigate a tense argument without backing down.
Related Reading: Arguments In A Relationship: Types, Frequency And How To Handle Them
- Let’s just agree to disagree
- Please understand that I’m not rejecting you, but I see this situation differently
- I have the right to say ‘no’ to your viewpoint, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you
- Let’s take some time to think about this and come back to it in a few days
- I don’t think I’m unreasonable here. Please try and see it from my side, too
13 Ways To End An Argument Without Apologizing And End The Fight
Ending an argument without apologizing doesn’t mean you always win; it might not even mean you get the last word. Ultimately, ending an argument is a sign of how deeply you value your relationship, but also a sign of how much you’re willing to compromise. Unhealthy compromise in a relationship doesn’t help. Here are some ways to end the fight without actually backing down.
1. Try taking the middle path
“One of the phrases to end an argument is “I’m ok, you’re ok”. Understanding that “I have a point of view, you have a point of view” goes a long way if you’re trying to bring an argument to a close without apologizing. Here, you’re not trying to win each other over or take the ‘my way or the highway’ route. In counseling terms, this is called the adult ego state where you take a middle path and put substantial thought into what can serve you both, as individuals and as a couple,” says Shivanya.
2. Ask for space without feeling guilty
How to end an argument without apologizing when you have a controlling partner who constantly wants to prove you wrong and make you agree with them? “You needn’t try to reason with them or give in to their drama as it will only make you submissive and resentful. Tell them you need to think about things and see if what they’re saying resonates with you. Ask for space and don’t apologize or feel bad for putting yourself first,” says Shivanya.
3. Set boundaries, but gently
Shivanya explains, “Setting healthy relationship boundaries is important. Always learn to set boundaries by letting a partner know that just because they choose to argue unreasonably and it looks as though they’re controlling you doesn’t mean they’re beating you down.
“One of the best phrases to end an argument or end an argument through text is, “I would like you to allow me the space to choose what’s right for me. Just as I am not rejecting you but allowing you to be who you are, you owe me the same respect.” Clear communication is important here, your tone and way of speaking matters.”
4. Use silence as a timeout
“I tend to freeze up during confrontation, so if my partner is being especially argumentative, I sometimes simply let go and walk away without a word. I know that if I am to hold my own in an argument, I need to take care of myself first,” says Jodie, 29, a playwright.
Related Reading: The Right Way To Use The Power Of Silence As A Breakup
Shivanya advises, “Sometimes we need to walk away from the argument without saying a thing. You’ve got nothing to prove and you do not need to ask for time or permission. Let your partner think that they have won.
“Or say, “Okay I hear what you want to say, you do what you feel is right” and walk away. Don’t try to reason things out, just walk away from the relationship for the moment. There are people you can’t change or understand and who are always ready to attack and point fingers at you. Silence is the best medicine in such cases. Let it go.”
5. Be you, unapologetically
Tap into your deepest, most authentic self here to find strength. “Have enough guts and conviction and you don’t need to succumb to the other person. This comes from very high self-esteem, but it’s very different from being egotistical. This isn’t about “I’m going to prove you wrong.” It’s more like a sense of “I own me, I choose myself and this is what resonates with me”.
“This is when you’re sure of yourself and are willing to face the consequences of your actions. In a lot of relationships, this stance works when a partner has a father or mother figure syndrome and is an overly protective boyfriend or girlfriend. That’s when you need to be completely yourself, not the version of you that makes them comfortable,” Shivanya says.
6. Take a walk together
“My partner and I always take a walk after an argument or even during ones that we can’t resolve easily. Something about taking the focus off our problems and the simplicity of putting one foot in front of the other at a steady pace is soothing and almost therapeutic,” says Sandra, 35, a police officer from New York.
Related Reading: The 9 Fair Fighting Rules For Couples
What is the best way to end an argument? Well, a change of scene can often help calm your mind and bring a new perspective to your argument. Take a stroll, do a brisk walk to work off your frustrations, and maybe even hold hands to remind yourselves that this is still a relationship, a bond you choose to cherish.
7. Understand both your needs
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that even in the most intimate of relationships, everyone’s needs will be different. Or if it’s not universally acknowledged, it needs to be! When in an argument, what is it you need to get out of it? And what are your partner’s critical emotional needs in the relationship at that moment?
The key to figuring out how to end an argument without apologizing could lie in accepting partners can approach arguments and reconciliation differently. You could be pulsing with the need to be heard while your partner could need you to see their point of view so they feel safe and understood. Understanding the needs of all parties involved helps you to end an argument quickly without having to apologize.
8. Be innovative, not combative
By innovative, we don’t mean go for your partner’s jugular and hit them where it hurts. Quite the opposite, in fact. Try and think up clever ways to diffuse the tension while letting them know that you’re not backing down. You can end an argument through text by saying, “I love you, so let’s remember that, but I need to say my side too.”
Related Reading: 11 Things To Do When Someone Treats You Badly In A Relationship
Decide on a time-out. Go out, watch a movie, and talk about something else. You can revisit the argument when you’re feeling less confrontational. How to end an argument without apologizing? Empathize, strategize, and execute.
9. Try solving your partner’s problem
To end an argument quickly, understand what your partner’s problem is. As in, when you’re snarkily asking them, “What is your problem?”, maybe actually wait for an answer. Arguments stem from certain sources – when a partner is stressed or frustrated, or insecure, for instance.
If there’s a specific issue bothering your partner that’s leading to arguments, try and help them resolve the conflict. Getting to the root of the matter is a good way to end an argument politely.
10. Remember, emotions and solutions aren’t the same
When amid an argument, we’re mostly all quivering masses of feelings and it’s tough to not make those strong emotions the center of everything. The thing is, while your feelings are absolutely valid, don’t base the solution to the argument only on your anger/confusion/resentment and so on.
Related Reading: Your Guide To Dealing With An Angry Person In A Relationship
The solution to an argument could be to take a deep breath and even bite back some words. You’re not apologizing here, but you do need to show emotional restraint before a fight gets out of hand. What is the best way to end an argument? Get your emotions under control without invalidating them.
11. Don’t try to get in the last word
Oh, this is a tough one. I love getting in the last word. There’s such deliciously petty satisfaction in it. Unfortunately, if your entire goal in an argument is to get in the last word, you’re not going to end the argument politely or end the argument quickly. Use words of affirmation rather than trying to get in the last word.
Getting the last word in while arguing is all about showing off. It’s all about you and how you’re prepared to do anything to show that you’re smarter than your partner. The worst of it is, you could end up saying something really hurtful in the process, which means you’ll need to apologize. And that’s just what you’re trying to avoid.
12. Use a safe word if things get too heated
“My partner and I have a safe word for our arguments. We change it a few times a year and it ranges from something innocuous like ‘strawberry’ to a line of poetry like ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’. Honestly, not only does it help us stop and take a step back, we often end up giggling because it’s hilarious to shout “STRAWBERRY” in the middle of an argument,” says Paula, 32, a bartender in Chicago.
Related Reading: 12 Hurtful Things You Or Your Partner Should Never Say To Each Other
Having a safe word lets both of you know when you’ve crossed a line or are about to. Once you’ve crossed a line, you’re going to end up apologizing even if they deserved whatever hurtful jibe you fired at them. So, even if you want to end an argument through text, go ahead and type STRAWBERRY or send an emoji.
13. If arguments are frequent and toxic, it’s time to leave
How to end an argument without apologizing when things become really hurtful? “When arguments become repetitive or the relationship is becoming toxic, it’s better to cut off the other person completely. Remember, it’s okay to let go, to move on, and to realize that you’re in an incompatible relationship, rather than constantly feeling disempowered.
“All of this depends on the intensity and frequency of the arguments. It also depends on how important your partner is to you and how much you’re willing to compromise. Have a clear vision of what is healthy and what is unhealthy. If your relationship is more of the latter, let it go completely or stick to minimal communication,” Shivanya says.
3 Things That Are Not Acceptable When Ending An Argument Without Apologizing
Just as there are certain things to say that work toward ending an argument without an apology, there are also things that will only escalate things and make it more difficult to make peace. If you want to end an argument on the right note, or just stop fighting in a relationship, here are a few don’ts to steer clear of:
1. Do not argue about everything when you’re upset about one thing
This means you stick to the topic at hand. If you’re arguing about household chores, don’t go off and yell about your partner’s mother and what she said two years ago. Firstly, mother talk gets everyone’s backs up, and secondly, take it one argument at a time.
2. Don’t make hurtful personal comments
We all say things in the heat of the moment and regret them later. While it’s tough to keep your cool in the middle of an argument, don’t be unnecessarily hurtful. Don’t make comments about their appearance or job, especially if you’re dating someone with anxiety. It’s tough to come back from that.
3. Don’t hand out ultimatums
The whole “do this or I leave” routine makes a partner feel attacked and vulnerable. It also leaves them feeling unsafe in the relationship, as though they have to measure up to a standard to make you stay with them. It’s okay to disagree and to argue, but ultimatums in relationships can create a crack that’s tough to repair.
- Ending an argument without apologizing isn’t about winning, or getting in the last word. It’s about valuing your relationship, but without being a pushover
- Some ways to end an argument are to understand your and your partner’s needs, take some space to think things through, and use a safe word
- It’s okay to leave a relationship if arguments are frequent and increasingly hurtful
- Do not hand out ultimatums or make hurtful comments during an argument
How to end an argument without apologizing takes work and ingenuity. You need to be able to set healthy relationship dynamics while still taking your partner’s point of view into account. You need to negotiate while letting them know your non-negotiables. Most importantly, you need to let them know that this is an argument, and unless it’s getting seriously hurtful, this is not a sign that your love for each other is waning. You’re on their side as much as you’re standing up for yourself. Phew! Relationships can be tough, but we love them anyway. There’s no arguing with that.
When you don’t want to apologize after an argument, you can say, “I need some time to cool off and think things over.” Or, “Let’s agree to disagree since you have a point of view and so do I.” You can also say, “Listen, I don’t agree with you, but I love you, so let’s just move on.” It all depends on the intensity of the argument and how strongly you believe in your convictions, and your relationship.
You can walk away after asking for some space and time to think things over. You can simply walk away in silence if the argument is getting to be too much and your partner refuses to listen to reason. If there have been too many arguments, all designed to be toxic and constantly put you down, you may want to consider ending the relationship altogether.