We’ve all done it – had a fight that leads to no where. Neither party understands the other. Everyone ends up agreeing to disagree without actually saying it. In fact, the arguing just stops and each person retreats to separate rooms to cool off. Time eventually heals, but habits die hard. At the onset of the next stressful event… Boom! The same cycle begins again.
Good news: We can change that cycle by fighting, or rather resolving, differently.
Rule 1: Admit fault and take responsibility.
Humility can go a long, long way. When we accept some fault in the situation at hand and take responsibility for where we are in the moment, we allow the other person to drop some of their anger. They see that we see what they see. They hear that we understand them (or at least part of it). And guess what? When we take responsibility and admit our fault, 9 times out of 10, so will they. Then the anger can begin to dissipate and the full on fight can become a conversation with possibility of resolution.
Rule 2: Stop focusing on yourself and seek to understand another’s perspective.
Yes, we are hurt and they did something to us. But we can all drop the “me” focus and at least seek to understand their perspective. Perhaps our partner isn’t the best communicator. If we truly care and love for them, we will keep digging and asking questions until we understand what really matters to them.
On the flipside, perhaps our partner argues with us about the way we handle a stressful moment. Rather than getting defensive, we can ask them how they would handle the moment and why they think our way is an ineffective approach. We may not agree with them, but by seeking their perspective, we show the other person that we do respect their opinion.
Rule 3: Rather than stating “You”, insert “It feels like”.
“You” in an argument may as well be pointing the finger of blame. No one likes this, ever. Rather than saying “You”, change the wording to “It feels like”. For example, replace “I hate when you say that to me.” with “That makes me feel like I’m insignificant.”
Rule 4: No name-calling.
It is usually understood that name-calling gets no one anywhere. Calling someone a B* or a D* doesn’t solve the problem. It is simply an attack and quickly puts everyone on the defensive. Let’s all just not go there.
How to fight fair in your relationships, especially in the heat of the moment, is not the easiest. But with each fight, we can seek to be better for the other person – and for ourselves. Honestly, how do we feel after a nasty fight with someone we love? We don’t feel very good at all. We can always be a little better for them during times of tension and by doing so, they will respond differently to us. Love is one of the best (if not the very best) feelings in the world. Let’s hold on to that love and demonstrate a kinder form of disagreement.
***Did you find the 4 Rules for How to Fight Fair in Relationships helpful? Good! Join us here at www.MollyRoman.com to be inspired, motivated and supported as you achieve your life goals through our amazing life coaching articles!