Stopping a Fight Before It Starts With One Simple Word


Do you find yourself reliving the same argument with your partner, over and over again?

Does it seem like you just talk in circles, never getting your problems resolved?

Believe it or not, this pattern may actually have little if anything to do with your spouse. And this argument you’re having, the reason you think you are so upset with your partner, may actually not be the real cause of your hurt feelings.

For many couples, a fight that recurs frequently is often just a trigger for some other personal issue, something that could even stem from a childhood trauma. Failing to address that personal problem will only cause that same argument to perpetuate, slowly deteriorating your relationship.

But if you start to understand what issues may be contributing to the conflict, you can transform not only your romantic partnership, but also every other relationship in your life.

And you can begin to unravel that problem with one simple word.


Helping Others Build Healthy Relationships

Relationship counsellors Katie and Gay Hendricks have made it their life work to help couples resolve longstanding arguments and nurture their relationships. Among their many tools for building a loving partnership, they have found that one word can stop a fight and bring peace, harmony and understanding.

And what’s that one word, you may ask?

The one word, or sound, that can successfully diffuse any situation is:


Seem too simple to be true? According to the Hendricks, it actually works wonders.

How? That one little word completely transforms a moment of conflict, to one of wonder and reflection. And once you have taken that moment to pause and consider all possible reasons for the fight, you open the door to finding out the real issues behind the argument.

Look, it’s always easy to play the blame game when we have disagreements with loved ones. But rarely is an argument ever one person’s fault completely. And if you really want to stop a recurring fight and resolve your issues once and for all, you need to take the time to reflect how each one of you negatively contributes to the situation.

How It Works

The Hendricks outlined 3 basic questions using the word “hmmm” to ask yourself when you’re caught in a moment of conflict with your spouse or loved one.

  1. “Hmmm…how could I have contributed to this conflict?” Instead of trying to figure out who the bad guy is in the fight, try looking at the dynamic of the situation.

For example, maybe you feel that your partner doesn’t help out enough around the house. And perhaps he has been doing less than he once did because when he did chip in, it went unnoticed or was criticized. Once you stop the blame game, you can consider each other’s feelings and find a resolution.

  1. “Hmmm…has this happened before?” All of us come with some baggage, no matter how great our childhood was. Try to figure out the patterns in your own life that may be recurring and contributing to the situation at hand.

Do you have trouble trusting others because your dad cheated on your mom? Do you have difficulty accepting love because you didn’t get enough growing up? These kinds of issues could interfere with your current relationship.

  1. “Hmmm…what can I do to create a solution here?” Sometimes we just get in a rut of fighting. We are so interested in making our grievances known that we don’t have the mental space to resolve the issue.

So instead of fixating on pointing the finger at your partner, try to find a solution. Consider both sides of the issue and address each person’s feelings.

All the relationships in your life improve once you can resolve your own issues. Using the word “hmmm” to stop an argument is one way you can address your own problems while finding peace and reconciliation in your partnership.

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