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How to Make Things Less Awkward After a Fight & Feel Closer Again

Don’t you hate feeling awkward after a fight? If you do, use these ways to clear the awkward silence so you can avoid it happening again in the future.

awkward after a fight

Don’t you hate that awkward tension after a fight? You know, the one that people don’t really talk about? You’re not even annoyed anymore, but there’s just this awkward silence and you can’t quite seem to snap back into normality.

You wonder whether your partner is still annoyed, or whether they too are hovering in limbo between arguing and normality. Neither partner wants to be the first to move, talk, or make eye contact. And neither partner’s true intentions are clear.

It can be pretty frustrating. The argument is over, so why is it so difficult to move on? In submitting ourselves to this strange state of post-argument awkwardness, we are extending the negativity, when we could be enjoying our relationships in the way that we should be!

The best ways to avoid feeling awkward after a fight

Arguments are bad enough as is, without extending them by a couple of hours of awkward silences. We need to learn to resolve and move on from arguments quickly and efficiently so that we don’t waste our time needlessly on confusion, egos or frustrations.

Try out these 8 tips that will allow you and your partner to heal and snap back quickly after an argument, so both of you can enjoy each other’s company once again!

1. Avoid arguing in the first place

I think we can all agree that most arguments we have are just plain silly and a few days later, you often struggle to remember what it was that caused the disagreement in the first place! So is it really worth arguing in the first place?

Don’t allow verbal aggression to be your first instinct when a disagreement arises. It is possible to discuss an issue WITHOUT being aggressive, and quite often, the issue is resolved much quicker because you are in a much more rational state of mind.

Take a deep breath and control your temper. Listen to what the other person has to say without interrupting. Reflect on their opinion and don’t overreact.

Even if you are the only one who is handling the situation in this way, your partner is likely to follow your lead soon enough. [Read: 10 important ways to love more and hurt less in a relationship]

2. Let go and don’t hold a grudge

Often, tension is caused after an argument because we don’t allow ourselves to let the disagreement go. When we sit in silence, we are quite often continuing to justify our own side of the argument in our minds.

Remember that neither arguing nor holding a grudge is worth your time. You can make the decision to choose a positive mindset. Even if something has annoyed or upset you, or if the argument hasn’t been fully resolved, let it go. 

It is never as important as you think it is at that time. In the grand scheme of things, your happiness and the health of your relationship are much more important.

And they will thrive if you don’t let every negative experience get to you and cling to you. Forget it and move on – that’s one of the best ways to avoid feeling awkward after a fight.

3. Don’t overanalyze the argument

After an argument, we often feel the need to justify our reactions and examine the root of the argument. Going over the causes of disagreement, and clearing up misunderstandings is helpful to a certain degree. But on the flip side, it won’t allow you to move on and return to normalcy.

What’s more, it runs the risk of reigniting the argument. So, be cautious and keep it to a minimum. Accept that arguments and misunderstandings happen, and if it doesn’t need to be discussed further, then don’t!

Banish the awkward silence, and focus on returning to normalcy as quickly as possible, and that should be your main priority. [Read: Is your overanalyzing sabotaging your relationship for you?]

4. Make a physical show of affection 

Sometimes, we sit in silence after an argument because we’ve simply had enough of using words. Don’t forget the old saying: actions speak louder than words. Show your partner that all is forgotten by displaying a gesture of affection.

Even if one of you is still clenching your teeth, introducing intimacy will instantly break the tension and allow both of you to heal after the argument.

There is a reason why “make-up sex” exists! Intimacy allows you to express your love, and afterward, everything is forgotten. [Read: The complete guide to make-up with sexy make-up sex!]

5. Apologize and admit where you were wrong

We all say things that we regret in the heat of the moment, and often, arguments arise because we have completely misunderstood the intentions of the other person’s actions or words.

What’s more, it is very unusual that only one person is in the wrong. In fact, an argument is usually a combination of both of your wrongs or misunderstandings!

You have most likely spent the majority of the argument explaining to your partner why they are wrong, it is now important to recognize where YOU were wrong and apologize. It will often initiate the other person to do the same. 

You may want to save face and avoid damaging your ego, but by stepping up and apologizing, it will provide closure to the argument and will allow both of you to move on. This is something that will help with feeling awkward after a fight. [Read: 28 aww-so-sweet ways to genuinely say you’re sorry]

6. Break awkward silences with a positive topic of conversation

Don’t let post-argument awkward silences go on longer than they have to. The longer it goes on, the harder it is to break out of it.

The best thing you can do is to take a deep breath and pretend nothing happened. Pick a positive topic of conversation or make small talk.

It may seem slightly false and awkward to start with for the first couple of minutes, but anything is better than an awkward silence! You’ll be surprised how quickly your conversation will revert to the norm. [Read: The perfect way to use silent treatment and grow closer in love]

7. Try a change of environment

It is easy to remain steadfast in the exact same physical position as you were when you were arguing. No one wants to be the first to make a move into continuing with normal life.

Bite the bullet and suggest a change of scenery. Perhaps go for a coffee, or out to dinner. Often, a change of environment, especially to a more social environment like a coffee shop or restaurant, will immediately change the atmosphere between the both of you.

8. Acknowledge the tension

When there is tension after a fight, it is hard to tell whether the other person is feeling as awkward as you are or whether they are still annoyed. And they are probably wondering the exact same thing!

Let them know that you aren’t annoyed, and most importantly, let your partner know just how much you hate the tension and the silence after a fight.

More often than not, they will be relieved that you’re feeling the same way. Once you’ve both acknowledged that the fight is over, you can both make a decision to move on. [Read: How the words you choose to use can make or break your relationship]

The most important thing here is to always remember the consequences of fighting. Remind yourself how raw you usually feel after a fight and the tension that is likely to follow, before the argument gets underway. 

This is often enough to make you take steps to prevent the argument before both of you get carried away, or at least, it will motivate you to resolve the disagreement quickly and move on without a period of post-argument tension.

Happiness in your relationship should always take priority, so don’t waste your time dragging an argument on longer than necessary. It is almost never worth it! [Read: How to stop fighting in a relationship and 6 steps to really talk]

Your fighting style affects whether you feel awkward

Most people don’t like conflict. However, every relationship involves some level of disagreement. It’s just human nature. But most people aren’t taught how to fight effectively. Instead, they do it the wrong way, and that is what makes both of you feel awkward afterward.

Some people hate fighting so much that they go out of their way to avoid conflict at all costs. But this isn’t necessarily healthy. While other people have knock-down-drag-out fights that are almost toxic. And that’s not healthy either.

So, if you don’t want to feel awkward after a fight, you need to know what to do and what not to do. Let’s take a look. [Read: Are relationship fights normal? 15 signs you’re fighting too often]

What not to do

1. See your partner as the “enemy”

Believe it or not, a lot of people perceive conflict as a “you vs. me” scenario. They see the other person as their “enemy” and that they need to “win” and the other person needs to “lose.” But this is a very toxic way of looking at conflict.

It’s not surprising that a lot of people feel this way. We live in a world full of competition. There are sports on TV 24/7 and the whole goal of them is to win and beat the other team. So, sadly, a lot of people approach their own conflicts with this attitude.

However, when you look at conflict as a competition, then you will always feel awkward after the fights. And if you add name-calling, belittling, and criticizing into the mix, then it definitely becomes toxic very quickly. You want to avoid this at all costs. [Read: Why fighting in a relationship is important and how to do it right]

2. Avoid the problems

You might be the kind of person who runs away from conflict. But, you really can’t. Sure, you can avoid talking or fighting about it. But that never solves the problem – it only makes it worse.

You can sweep all your problems under the rug in the hopes that they will magically disappear. However, that never ever happens. Unresolved arguments do nothing but build and fester as time goes on.

If you have had fights in the past that made you feel awkward, then it’s probably a natural instinct to avoid disagreements in the future. But as we said, that won’t help. You have to face it head-on and handle it the right way. [Read: 8 things to tell yourself when you’re fighting with your lover]

Now, the only time it might be helpful to avoid a fight is if both of your emotions are running high and neither of you can think clearly and rationally. In that case, take a break, calm down, and then come back together to solve the problem. Or, if you’re in a public place where it’s inappropriate to have a fight, then you can avoid it then as well, but only if it’s temporary.

What you should do to avoid awkwardness

3. See yourself as a team

Instead of seeing conflict as a competition where you view your partner as the “enemy” or avoiding it altogether, you need to re-think how you view disagreements. They can actually have a positive effect on your partnership, but only if you view yourself as a team. [Read: How to resolve conflict – the 15 best ways to cut out the drama]

Think about how it would turn out if a soccer team all of the sudden started competing with each other and not the other team. That wouldn’t make any sense, would it? Of course not! People would think they are crazy!

So, acting that way when you are having a fight with your partner is no different. You have to see yourself as on the same team. Talk about what each of your concerns and needs is, and try to resolve them together. Try to make both of you happy. If you can’t, then you need to find a way to compromise.

You see, when you see yourself as one unit, then you won’t feel awkward ever again. There is no spirit of competition and no negativity. After all, that’s what you want, isn’t it? 

[Read: Relationship arguments – 23 big do’s and don’ts to remember!]

So the next time you see red when you’re talking to your partner, just remember these ways to avoid the silence and the awkward tension after a fight. Over time, subconsciously, the fights will reduce. And the love will grow!

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...