How to End an Argument: 16 Things to Say to Stop the Conflict

Disagreements happen, but you don't have to feel stuck in an endless loop of conflict. Try one of these phrases to end an argument.

Published May 10, 2024
young couple talking to each other

No one enjoys an argument (okay, almost no one), but it's a fact of life that they happen anyway. Whether you're arguing with a friend about a misunderstanding or having a contentious conversation with a coworker about a project, knowing how to end an argument can help you put the conflict behind you and let you move on. We've got some things you can say to change the conversational gears for just about any situation.

How to End an Argument With Your Partner

Couple having an argument in the kitchen

It's strange how one minute you can be getting along with your sweetie, and the next moment, things can slide a little off the rails. When you're ending an argument, it's important to remember that you care about this person and are actually both on the same team. These are a few things you can say to get back on track during a conflict.

"I Hear What You're Saying"

A lot of arguments are about trying to get the other person to see our perspective and feeling frustrated that they can't or won't. Take a second to make sure you understand and really hear your partner's viewpoint, including their feelings and thoughts. Then let them know you hear them, even if you don't agree.

"Let's Take a Break and Talk About This in Half an Hour"

Sometimes, emotions run high, and that can make it impossible to resolve a conflict right in that moment. If you can't resolve things, there's really no point to continuing the argument, right? But that doesn't mean you need to just sweep things under the rug. Agree to come back and discuss the issue in half an hour (or however long it takes you to calm down).

"I Value You and Our Relationship"

One of the hardest things about arguing with a romantic partner is that it can feel like they don't really value us or our perspective. That's a sad and scary feeling, and sometimes all we need to end the argument is a little reassurance. Remind them you care.

"Let's Solve This Together"

If you come at a problem from two different sides, you're less likely to solve it. Reinforce that you both want to fix things and can work together to make it better.

Quick Tip

What if you're not trying to fix things and don't value the relationship? If you're ending things with your partner, it's still good to hear them out and let them know you understand their perspective. Then simply say, "I think we've both shared how we feel. It's time to move on."

Best Lines to End an Argument With Family

We have disagreements with many of the people who matter most to us. If you're in conflict with your parents, siblings, children, or other family members, there are some phrases you can use to end an argument without hurting your relationship with your family.

"It's Okay That We Don't Agree About This"

As family, it sometimes seems like we should agree about everything. But just because you share some genetic material doesn't mean you need to share every viewpoint. Acknowledging that it's okay to disagree can take some of the tension out of the situation.

"This Is What I Hear You Saying...."

Active listening, or listening in a way that shows the other person you really hear them, can go a long way toward defusing a conflict. Think about what the other person has said and what their perspective is and then try to sum that up. It will show them you understand.

"Let's Take Some Time to Cool Off"

Just like when you're arguing with a partner, it's hard to resolve things with family when you're angry. If you sense yourself getting mad or see your family member starting to get a little ticked off, take a minute to call a time-out. Be sure to come back to the issue a little later when you're both feeling more chill.

"You and Your Feelings Are Important to Me"

There's something about a fight to make us question how much we matter to each other, so tell your family member they are really important to you. That one statement can change the entire conversation and make things a lot better.

Quick Tip

Saying your sorry can also help end an argument, and it's always a good idea to apologize if you feel you may have hurt the other person. Just because you know how to end an argument without apologizing doesn't mean that's the best way to go. A simple "I'm sorry" can make anything else you say more effective.

Things to Say to Stop an Argument With a Friend

Woman comforting to a sad depressed friend who needs help

If you're having a fight with your bestie or disagreeing with any friend, it can feel pretty uncomfortable.  You can use many of the same techniques you use for family, but there are a couple of additional things you can say.

"Your Feelings Make Sense"

Feelings don't have to make sense, but it sure does feel better when they do. If you see your friend feeling something and understand why, let them know. It will help reduce the tension for both of you.

"Tell Me How You Would Like Us to Mend Our Friendship"

If it's a major breach in your friendship, a simple statement about how much you want to repair things can go a long way. It shows you value your friend and your relationship with them and that you're committed to fixing things.

"Thank You for Being Open About Your Feelings"

Even if it can feel like an attack sometimes, it's actually an honor when someone shares their feelings with you. You don't have to agree with how they feel or like what they're saying, but acknowledging that you appreciate them sharing their feelings can help end an argument.

"I Think I Need Some Time to Think About What You're Saying"

This is another phrase to end an argument that is really all about calling a pause. Your friend may have expressed a perspective you don't agree with, but you don't have to hash everything out right this second. It's totally fine to end the argument so you can take some time to think.

Quick Tip

What if you're not talking in person? Knowing how to end an argument over text is important too. It's really the same process, but it's crucial that you're clear in your communication. Before sending the text, take a sec to make sure there's no way someone can misunderstand what you're saying.

Related: How to Apologize When You Mess Up (Because We All Do)

Phrases to End an Argument at Work

stressed diverse businessmen arguing in office

Miscommunications and disagreements happen at work too. Even if you don't have a personal relationship with coworkers or clients, you may still have some very real feelings about a conflict. Knowing how to end an argument can keep you from being sucked into an endless cycle of conflict.

"How About We Agree to Disagree?"

You don't always have to agree. Different opinions are actually really useful at work in many situations. Next time you're stuck arguing with a coworker, pull an "agree to disagree" and move on with your day.

"You Have Good Ideas About This, But We Should Discuss It Later"

If now isn't the time to talk, that's okay. Simply acknowledge the value of the other person's perspective and plan to talk about things a little later. This will give you both a chance to calm down a little.

"Let's Meet Later to Find Common Ground on This"

Another way to move the conversation to a later time is to focus on how you can resolve things together at that point. This statement shows you want to solve the problem together but that you can't do it right now.

"Thank You for Sharing Your Perspective"

When you don't agree, you can still appreciate and show you understand the other person's perspective. This makes them feel emotionally validated, and it's easier to move out of the argument and back to a more productive discussion.

End an Argument and Return to What Matters

No matter what kind of relationship you have with the other person, there are just some times when a conflict isn't helping anything. Knowing how to end an argument can bring things back to what matters: your relationship, both of your feelings, and how you can come together to make things better.

How to End an Argument: 16 Things to Say to Stop the Conflict