10 Ways to Always Fight Fair
by: Cucan Pemo
Arguments happen. Not everyone is going to agree with everyone all of the time, nor should they expect to. But when you’re in a relationship, the context of arguments can become very emotional, to a point when you can hurt the other’s feelings. But there are ways that you can learn how to fight fair so that you both learn from the argument instead of ruin a relationship.
1) Don’t lecture
When you’re in an adult relationship, you should treat each other like adults. When one person begins to lecture the other person about what they did wrong, it sets up a power divide that can create animosity and discord. Instead of trying to be ‘right,’ why not try to talk about what’s going on to see how you can fix it?
2) Don’t sweat the small details
When you’re in an argument, it’s not beneficial to fight about little things that probably won’t matter in a few days. Think about something before you bring it up and if you know that you won’t ever remember the point in six months, you probably don’t even need to mention it. The same rule applies for anything that happened well before the argument – stick to the argument at hand and focus only on those details.
3) Don’t take everything personally
When you’re in the heat of an argument, you can become flustered and say things that you might not normally say. Realize that your partner is doing this as well, and that you want to focus on listening for the important stuff that they are saying, and dismissing things that may have been said out of anger.
4) Try not to yell
When emotions are high and tempers are flared, it’s difficult to maintain your composure – especially when your partner is yelling too. But it’s vital to your argument (as well as your health) to keep your voice low and calm. This helps to bring a little peace to the argument and will keep both partners from screaming at each other. And when you can actually hear each other, you’ll be able to focus on the real issues in a more mature manner.
5) Avoid guilt trips
When you’re hurt by someone, the first response is to try to hurt them back with some sort of guilt trip. But while this might seem like a good idea, it’s actually helping to erode your relationship. You want to talk about the issues at hand and not assign blame to them. When you blame someone for something and try to make them feel guilty, you are saying that you are right and they are wrong – and that’s no way to have an argument that gets settled.
6) Don’t attack them
As tempting as it might be to get in some personal attacks when you’re feeling mad, stop for a second to think about how it would make you feel. When you’re trying to heal a relationship bump, you want to focus on the issue at hand, leaving personal attacks out of it. They’re only going to ruin any progress that you have made.
7) Focus on one issue at a time
Like some of the previous advice, the best thing you can do is identify the problem that you are having and deal with that issue alone. When you start to talk about multiple issues, you will begin to confuse them and might not fully address them. You want to both figure out what is upsetting you the most, deal with it, and then move onto something else.
As hard as it might seem to listen during an argument, it can help both of you determine what you need to do. The other person could be quite clearly telling you what they need to fix the problem, but if you’re not listening, you’re not using the solution that has been presented to you.
9) Don’t leave
Another hard thing to do is stick it out in an argument, but it will make sure that you are finishing what you have started. Even if you feel that you can’t take anymore, tell your partner that you have to collect yourself for a moment, but that you will be back to finish the discussion.
10) Be respectful
When you want the argument to be a learning experience instead of a fight, you will want to show your respect of the other person. Pay attention, ask questions as needed, make eye contact, and be calm. Together, you can work through
whatever you are dealing with.
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