Let’s face it: your girl often gets the best of you in argument. Don’t worry it kind of makes sense, she’s someone you have feelings for (that’s why you’re with her) and when those emotions arise they can get the best of you. If you’re having to grovel at her feet after every tiff, you’re probably doing a few different things wrong. Luckily, there are several things you can do to take control of the situation and win practically every argument with your girlfriend. Consider these strategies to argue better and more productively:

Try to keep your emotions in check.

The calmer and more logical you are while you’re arguing with your girlfriend, the better. If you let your emotions get the best of you, you may end up saying something you regret, which will put you in a weaker position than her and make it almost impossible to come out ahead in the argument. Remember that you don’t have to give every emotion you’re feeling the power to overtake you.

 Listen to her point of view. 

You may adamantly disagree with it, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen and try to understand where she’s coming from. If you can make her feel heard and understood while you’re arguing, she’ll be a lot more likely to return the favor. If you both actually listen to each other, you increase the chances of the argument ending in both of you calmly agreeing to disagree.

 Disengage if you’ve both been drinking or are stressed

Little things that wouldn’t matter to you ordinarily can seem a lot worse if you’ve both been out drinking or are both dealing with major stress in your lives. Know when it’s not time to fight and be willing to walk away and cool off until you’re both in a better frame of mind. Some people recommend never going to sleep angry, but if you’re both exhausted, going to sleep might actually be the solution to your argument. You might both wake up and see the situation in a whole new light.

 Remove “always” and “never” from your vocabulary.

You’ll immediately lose your credibility in the argument if you tell her she always does something or never does something, and you’ll probably escalate the drama. According to Psychology Today, you should also try to avoid words like “whatever” and “nothing” while arguing.

Know your limits

If you start to feel yourself becoming irrational in the situation, tell her you need some time alone and that you’ll return to the discussion after you’ve had some time to think. If you stay in the situation, you might end up resorting to things like name calling and blaming, which will seriously decrease your chances of winning the argument.

Don’t tell her to calm down.

Telling her to calm down or telling her that she’s being dramatic will only make her more upset, in most arguments. Ultimately, she probably just wants you to validate her feelings in some way, and when you tell her to calm down, you’re doing the opposite.

Avoid ultimatums.

Even if you’re fuming angry and feel like you want to end the relationship, don’t resort to ultimatums. When you’ve had time to reflect on the argument later, you’ll probably realize that you have a good thing going on and don’t want to end it, and then you’ll have to crawl back to her and beg for forgiveness.

Take responsibility.

If you realize that something you did affected her in a negative way, acknowledge it and take responsibility. Throw out some possible solutions to the problem or some ways for you to make amends. This doesn’t mean that you have to totally give up your stance in the argument. It just means that you won’t leave the argument looking like a jerk, and it might help you build character too, according to some experts.

Stay focused.

Resist the urge to bring up other issues while you’re arguing. Focus on the one issue at hand that both of you think needs to be resolved. If you bring up things she did two years ago, you’ll definitely lose your edge in the argument. If she gets off track and starts bringing up your dirty laundry that’s unrelated to the argument at hand, be sure to remind her that what she’s saying is beside the point.

 Use “I” statements. 

Want to wow her with how mature and emotionally evolved you are when you’re arguing? Talk about how you feel rather than shifting the focus to what she’s doing wrong. Try saying “I feel angry when you xyz” instead of “you’re wrong and you’re acting crazy.” Her response to you will be a lot calmer and more receptive, and you’ll probably leave the argument looking like the bigger person. For some help with “I” statements, consult this resource.

Have make up sex.

Because it’s one of the few benefits of having a fight in the first place