5 Surprisingly Useful Lessons I Learned from Supermarket Tabloids
Updated: Dec 8, 2023
Leafing through a trashy magazine in the grocery aisle is my guilty pleasure. One afternoon, I flipped to a story about a celeb couple, married for about four years with a baby. "Sources" were concerned about their arguments over child care and work schedules. Subtract a hundred million dollars or so and swap the Hollywood mansion for a townhouse in the 'burbs, and the story could have been about my family.
I'm not in the habit of referring to the tabloids for marriage wisdom, but as it turns out, celebrity scandals contain some valuable insights. For $6.99, a gossip magazine holds a surprising amount of advice for how to argue effectively with your partner.
Lesson 1: Avoid Casting Villains
It's easy to look like a hero if you're willing to cast the other person as a villain. "Area Couple Both Have Reasonable Points About Whose Family They Should Visit This Thanksgiving" won't make headlines, but the argument goes a lot better without the spin.
Lesson 2: Choose Trustworthy Confidantes
The scariest phrase in any gossip article is, "a source close to the couple says." Celebs seem to have an awful lot of friends willing to sell them out. Fortunately, subtle clues distinguish a reliable confidante from a TMZ aficionado. My best friend has known me and my husband for 11 years, so one "this man is driving me nuts" conversation won't poison her opinion of my spouse. Guarding secrets matters to her. If the paparazzi ever start asking details of my life, she'll slip on her coolest shades and walk on by.
Lesson 3: Beware Sensationalized Headlines
Spoiler alert: supermarket magazines don't always hold themselves to the strictest standards of journalism. "Baby On the Way!" a cover screams. Inside, the "expectant" actress admits that yes, she has thought about having kids; she's not currently pregnant. "It's Over" are the only two words an editor clipped from a quote that starts, "If he moves to Australia for 10 months while going out drinking every night..." Nothing sets me on edge like a testy, "Can't you clean up? I'm beat." You're beat? I nursed a baby during a conference call! Once we both get a chance to share our day, it's easier to decide whether to do the dishes together or just leave them in the sink and open some wine.
Lesson 4: Take Mind-Calming Breaks
When my husband and I have an argument, I like to take a private jet across the country to cool down in my New York City penthouse. (Or at least lace up my sneakers and walk a loop in the park across the street.) Either way, taking a mind-calming break can make it easier to be patient when working out a disagreement. What you do with your alone time matters. Take a walk. Meditate. Have a Disney movie marathon. If you learn anything from celebrity magazines, let them teach you not to go clubbing with a mystery someone when you're mad... or in our case, don't do something that may hurt the other person's feelings.
Lesson 5: Disagreement Doesn't Mean the End
You can have $20 million and abs as defined as an ice cube tray, you're still going to get into arguments. I think it's comforting that no amount of money, fame, or personal trainers can guarantee a conflict-free life. Disagreeing with your partner doesn't necessarily mean that you're a bad match or that the romance is over. You probably grew up with different outlooks on money, family, and schedules. Maybe you both have strong opinions about whether forks should point up or down in the dishwasher. Chances are, if you stay mindful and compassionate, this spat too will be gone with last month's headlines.
In conclusion, supermarket tabloids may be frivolous, but they offer unexpected lessons for relationship success. By avoiding villainizing each other, choosing trustworthy confidantes, being mindful of sensationalized headlines, taking mind-calming breaks, and recognizing that disagreements are a normal part of any relationship, you can navigate conflicts and enhance your bond. Remember, even the glamorous lives of celebrities are not free from arguments, making it clear that conflict resolution and understanding are essential for a healthy partnership.
1. Can reading supermarket tabloids actually improve my relationship?
Answer: While supermarket tabloids may not be a direct source of relationship advice, they can offer valuable insights into effective communication and conflict resolution within a relationship. By observing the tabloid stories and applying the lessons learned, you may be able to navigate arguments more effectively and maintain a healthy partnership.
2. Are tabloid headlines reliable?
Answer: Tabloid headlines often sensationalize stories and prioritize attention-grabbing content. It's important to approach tabloid headlines with skepticism and seek reliable, credible sources for accurate information. However, the lessons derived from tabloid stories can still hold significance and be applied to real-life relationships.
3. How can taking mind-calming breaks help during arguments?
Answer: Taking mind-calming breaks during arguments allows individuals to step back from the intense emotions and regain perspective. Engaging in activities like meditation, going for a walk, or enjoying personal time can help to calm the mind and promote clearer thinking, making it easier to approach conflicts with patience and understanding.
4. Is disagreement a sign of a failing relationship?
Answer: Disagreements are a natural part of any relationship and do not necessarily indicate a failing or incompatible partnership. Differences in opinions, backgrounds, or preferences are normal and can lead to healthy growth and compromise within a relationship. It's important to approach disagreements with open-mindedness, respect, and a willingness to find common ground.
5. How can I resolve conflicts with my partner more effectively?
Answer: To resolve conflicts effectively, focus on active listening, expressing your thoughts and feelings calmly and respectfully, and seeking to understand your partner's perspective. Practice empathy, compromise, and find solutions that benefit both parties. Establishing open lines of communication and embracing constructive dialogue can contribute to resolving conflicts in a healthy and productive manner.