Rules For Fighting Fair
My boyfriend and I are both very stubborn individuals. We both value intelligence and constantly challenge one another to be better. We get going in our conversation, things start to heat up, and neither one of us is willing to back down from our point. And we argue about practically anything – finances, family, career decisions, plans, chores (especially TRASH!), the temperature in the apartment – the list goes on! When you are in a relationship with someone you love and you are living together, fighting is practically inevitable.
So if we are going to fight, how do we fight fair? The goal is to be healthy and productive in an argument, versus being harmful and destructive to the other party. I stumbled across this post from Beating 50 Percent that outlines rules for fighting fair:
Don’t fight in public: Fighting in public usually escalates a fight, as both people become self-conscious about how the fight looks. Resolving your issues at home, in a safe and private space, encourages resolution. When you are alone, honesty and vulnerability are in your reach.
Don’t go to bed angry: Not only will you lose sleep and wake up the opposite of refreshed, you will most likely be carrying that argument into the following day.
Cool off to avoid retaliation: Yelling, retaliation, and overreacting are rarely productive and typically cause the person you are lashing out at to shut down. Cooling off allows time to organize thoughts, which speeds up the resolution process.
Choose words wisely: Accusations lead to defensiveness. Words are powerful, and they can be destructive, so choose them wisely.
Seek a resolution: Be clear, honest, and specific about the root of the issue. Vague answers aren't helpful – it’s better to explain why you feel the way you do.
Don’t drink when fighting: Drinking lowers your inhibitions, so emotions run high. People tend to become sensitive, angry, and disrespectful while drunk, so the probability of overreacting heightens. Before you initiate a fight consider the situation – it probably won't end well.
Remember whose team you're on: Don’t let circumstances convince you that you are opponents. During a fight try to stop and remind each other that you are on the same team.
Don’t vent on social media: If you wish to resolve an issue, airing out your dirty laundry on social media won't help you accomplish anything. You think you are making the other person out to be the "bad guy", but you come across as disrespectful. Your partner will be less vulnerable and transparent in future fights because they won’t be able to trust your confidentiality.
Have you had to use any of these rule before in an argument? Did they help? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!